“They weren’t necessarily as different as the media had been portraying.” Kristin Murray, HR director, Presbyterian Support New Zealand, is researching the generations for a PhD thesis entitled, Diversity Management. Her surveys, based on a card-sort methodology, turned up a striking degree of similarities across the generations.
For example Veterans (1922-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gens X and Y all wanted roles that gave them quality of life, a supportive manager, job satisfaction and fulfillment. She said that as people moved through life, their generational personality impacted on how they approached each life stage and that the constructs that were in common with other cohorts might look different to different generations.
“Armed with this knowledge managers can better understand an employee and what motivates them to gain better levels of employee engagement. However, it should be remembered that like any type of diversity there are individual differences within each group (in this instance within the generational cohort) and any attempt to manage employees using this information should take this into account.”
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