Understanding different types of people

“The Children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect for adults, and love to talk rather than work or exercise… They contradict their parents, chatter in front of company, gobble down their food at the table, and intimidate their teachers.”

Sound like anyone you know? Well surprisingly this pronouncement was made by Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.)!

It just goes to show that the older generations have probably since time began taken a dim view of the younger generation!

 ‘Not as loyal’, ‘not as committed’, ‘unwilling to go the extra mile’, ‘just want to leave on the dot’,’ you just can’t attract enough good people anymore’, are just some of the laments you hear across the UK.

And these comments may well be accurate but perhaps it’s time to look at what it will take to attract and keep the best of different types of people particularly the Generation Y talent.

In gathering this information then it should be understood that it is inevitably a generalisation.  Not every individual whatever ‘group’ they belong to is the same. Influencing factors such as age of their parents or primary carers, their family life and values and life experiences will all have had an effect. You will need to take into account the type of industry you are in, the type of cultural environment you are linked into, and an individual’s talents as well. What are the different groups?

Traditionalists (Born between 1927 and 1945) today, aged 68 to 85, about 95% of the Traditionalists are retired from the workforce. They are largely hardworking, loyal and respect authority.

Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1965) today, aged 48 to 67, are extremely hardworking and motivated by position, perks and prestige. Boomers believe in hierarchal structure and lines of authority and may have a hard time adjusting to workplace flexibility trends. They believe in “face time” at the office and may fault younger generations for working remotely.

Gen ‘Xers’ (born mid 65 to 1979) today, aged 34 to 48, generally they are better educated than Boomers in terms of qualifications. Many Gen Xers lived through tough economic times in the 1980s and saw their workaholic parents lose hard-earned positions. Thus, Gen Xers is less committed to one employer and more willing to change jobs to get ahead than previous generations. They value work/life balance: Unlike previous generations, members of Gen Xers along with ‘Y’s’ work to live rather than live to work. They are Individualistic, technologically adept appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality.

Gen Y (born 1980 to 1995) today, aged 18 to 33, also known as the Millennial generation, a term used by demographers to describe the segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000. Generation Y are team players, they can be, loyal if it’s earned, committed and want to be included and involved.  Gen Y graduates have been identified as especially ambitious. Generation Y crave attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. Because of their upbringing and a more inclusive ‘enlightened’ approach to education, they appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers. They don’t live for work … they work to live; Gen Y along with younger Xers watched with horror as their parents worked punishing hours in their scramble for money and status. Now, as this group go in search of jobs, they have different priorities

 10 Tips to Attracting and Keeping the Best of the Gen Y Talent and maybe other types too

  1. Attractive Remuneration: Pay a decent basic salary and offer attractive and achievable bonus and incentive schemes
  2. Recruit the Right People: Make sure they know it is just as important that ‘you are right for them’ as it is ‘for them to be ‘right for you’.
  3. Offer ongoing Career Development: Today everybody needs to be improving and recreating themselves particularly when you get into your 50s
  4. Offer Interactive and Experiential Training and Development: Make it fun and let people have a go
  5. Create a culture based on Mentoring and Coaching: Gen Y thrive on one to one attention, they value time spent with them to address their needs
  6. Recognition. Create a culture based on a solid foundation of positive recognition.
  7. Empower them. Treat them as responsible adults with an important contribution to make and value their contribution
  8. The Bigger pictureand Communication: Make sure they understand the importance of the work they do for their customers and to your company
  9. Keep your promises and deliver on time: This is important whether it be employees or customers
  10. Respect them as People Acknowledge their individuality and treat them with respect


I believe as a “Baby Boomer” and a coach, that everybody should be treated as per the ten tips above, but how often is this the case in this fast moving world when a manager’s time is so precious? Anne Pink my coaching colleague in the North East has kindly let me precise her article focusing on Generation Y sales which you can read in full on http://www.newhorizonscc.co.uk/index.php/writing.html which focuses on Generation Y sales. So in this edition you have 2 points of contact if you want either coaching or mentoring support. Remember coaching, caters for many of the top tips above.

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