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Different Generations in the Workplace: How Generational Diversity can Lead to a Healthy Work Environment

Diversity is important in the workplace. People from different backgrounds have their own unique set of skills and perspectives that add dimensions to the workplace that is difficult to come by in other settings. That is why most offices try to balance the staff by gender, race, and even ethnicity wherever applicable. The one aspect that is often overlooked is generations. People from different generations have their own take on life and this point of view can make a lot of difference in the office environment. There is a wide variety of people in today’s workforce. Everyone from students to people beyond retirement is still actively working. The days where companies only employed people from a specific age group is long gone. Companies that hire talent from different generations are benefiting from it. As of now, there are between 5 and 6 generations of workers available to hire. Each of these generations grew up, was educated and worked through vastly different times. People born in the 1940s are known to have a certain mindset and many believe that they are frozen in time. Their skills, however, often include understanding complex structures and working toward these objectives. They are able to see the wider picture and are often known to move on from the petty stuff. People born in the 1950s are the revolutionaries. They are the ones who shaped the modern world as we know it and their sense of innovation and the ‘get it done attitude’ distinguishes them from the generations that followed them. People born in the 1960s are aware and understand the power of participation. Their early years were tumultuous for the world in general. They are outspoken and hard-working. People born in the 1970s are pragmatic and resourceful. They are known to be focused. People born in the 1980s- the millennials have gotten themselves a bad name as being whiny and lazy, but are literally the hardest working generation. They have picked themselves up from the largest financial crisis since the 1920s and have managed to keep the world spinning. People born in the 1990s are just starting off and are in need of the most guidance from all the other groups mentioned above. While it might seem like gross generalisations to put people in these brackets, it is a reasonably good representation of the generations and the way in which they work. All you need to do is put together a team that can make use of all these skills. Collaborations are already being made with outside consultants and if you haven’t already, it might just be the right time to do it.  

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