Saluting Fathers of All Generations in the Workplace

Jun 14, 2016

Saluting Fathers of All Generations in the Workplace

Does the saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" hold true in the office? While we all look up to "dear old dad," and he's an important role model in our lives, our work styles and career goals are probably very different. And although you may not work with your father, you most likely work with several dads of all ages. Understanding the diverse, unique generations in the workplace today can benefit everyone and create a stronger team environment.

The Veterans

The veteran generation, also known as the silent or traditionalist generation, is comprised of people born between 1922 and 1945, according to Greg Hammill in his 2005 article, Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees. Considering their age and years in the workforce, most veterans have moved on to retirement. They usually view work as an obligation and prefer formal methods of communication in the office. This generation enjoys working individually, and experience is respected more than education level. People from the veteran generation

  • work hard,
  • respect authority,
  • adhere to rules, and
  • are directive.

The Baby Boomers

Hammill categorizes the baby boomer generation as those born between 1946 and 1964. Viewing work as an exciting adventure, baby boomers don't feel the need to abide by the nine-to-five lifestyle and don't require a work-life balance. They are team players, love meetings, and prefer to communicate in person. According to Hammill and to Vivian Giang's September 2013 Business Insider article, Here Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers, you can spot a baby boomer by noting people who

  • are hardworking,
  • are team players,
  • enjoy mentoring, and
  • value personal fulfillment.

Generation X

Born between 1965 and 1980, Hammill says that those in generation X view work as a difficult challenge or as a contract. They enjoy communicating with direct contact and expect immediate responses. Generation X prefers to do things a little differently than following the rules, but if everyone gets to the same end result, it's all good! This generation thrives on the idea of a solid work-life balance. According to Hammill and Giang, generation Xers

  • are adaptable,
  • enjoy problem solving,
  • like collaboration, and
  • seek direction.

Generation Y

Those who belong to generation Y, more commonly known as millennials, are born between 1981 and 2000, according to Hammill. Millennials see work as a way to seek fulfillment. They enjoy being involved with meaningful projects and can be very effective within teams, but they prefer to communicate primarily via e-mail or voice mail. Shunning a traditional work schedule, flexibility is very important to their work style and productivity. Millennials work best with those who are creative and bright. Hammill and Giang note that millennials have also been found to be

  • tech savvy,
  • enthusiastic,
  • entrepreneurial, and
  • goal-oriented.

While each generation of dads has their own distinctive work style, all are hard-working and deserve much gratitude on Father's Day. And be sure to "show some love" to the fathers in your office!

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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