One of my colleagues at CLASS (www.classcommunity.org) attended a recent webinar that explored the unique elements of the various generations, starting with Baby Boomers (1946-1965), the Generation X (1966-1976), Generation Y Millennials (1977-1994), and Generation Z (1995-2012). The training was to help supervisors understand the generations so that they can provide more informed supervision.
She shared what she was exposed to at our recent Leadership team meeting and I was taken by the information and approach that was shared at the webinar. The presenters talked about the key things that these generations were exposed to while growing up, and some of the important elements that these generations value. Some, like Boomers value loyalty, and others. like Millennials, see their private time as important.
The focus of the training was that supervisors could use the elements that staff value to better guide their work; and obviously there is merit to notion. Still, for me, what was interesting was to explore the common areas of value for each of the 4 generations. What was common for all the groups was the importance of relationships - that is, regardless of when you were born, or what the key influences of the times, relationships stayed constant.
This is further evidence of the power and potency of social capital. No matter the swings of war, or peace, or what was happening on the home front, or in in the media; friendships/relationships/connections with other people matter greatly. Trends come and go, but somethings are constant.