There is no doubt that our personalities, resilience levels and beliefs shape the way we view change, but could our generation also impact or predict the way we respond to change?

With different workplace expectations, attitudes and experiences the answer is a resounding yes. Here is a sneak (and somewhat generalised) peek at how the three major generations in the workplace view and react to change so you can adapt your communication style to suit.

Baby Boomers

With the majority of Veterans retired, Baby Boomers are the largest group of older employees in the workplace. They are dedicated, hard-working and loyal often staying with the same company for decades at a time. Work is a big part of their life and a source of great personal fulfilment. With a career focused nature they are happy to put in longer hours, and in most cases haven’t had a lot of work/life balance over the course of their career.

Combine this with them approaching a later stage in life, and it can be understandable why this generation is not as adaptable to change as others. When transitioning Baby Boomer workers out of the workplace make them feel valued. Let them know that their work has mattered and that they leave a lasting legacy. To re-engage survivors of change make Baby Boomers feel needed in the workplace. Give them ownership and responsibility, actively draw on their knowledge and experience, or get them to play a mentoring role to less experienced staff.

Generation X

Generally speaking, Generation X are a more independent and resourceful generation that adapts easier to change in the workplace. They place value on balance and autonomy and work to live not live to work like the Baby Boomers before them.

When communicating change keep in mind that Generation X values challenge, responsibility and openness. If you need to transition Gen X workers out of the workplace be honest and open in your communication and help them to understand the ‘why’ behind their transition. To re-engage survivors of change set Gen X challenges and ask for their creative input when establishing the path forward.

Generation Y

Generation Y are predicted to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020 making them an important generation to know. They are smart, tech-savvy, creative and productive. They are a generation of multi-taskers and thrive on feedback. They are the instant gratification generation and can quickly lose interest in their careers if they don’t feel fulfilled.

When communicating change keep in mind that Generation Y wants to have greater meaning to their work. If you need to transition Gen Y workers out of the workplace explain why the decision has been made and help them to feel validated. When re-engaging the survivors of change, let Gen Y have input in the big picture and give them a sense of purpose. They need something to be passionate about or a cause worth fighting for.

Have you noticed any patterns when it comes to communicating change to different generations?

Need help communicating and managing change effectively across your organisations? Call us today on 1300 278 345.