Generations in the Workforce

There are currently five generations in the workplace. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials make up three quarters of the total working population; Traditionalists make up less than 3 percent and Generation Z is just entering the workforce, making up approximately 5 percent.

For each generation, there is research relating to what they are shaped and motivated by as well as to their communication styles and worldviews. There is also data on potential employer challenges based on the life experiences of each generations and how that has an effect on our ability to manager people.

As individuals, we all have our own traits, beliefs, and life experiences that mold us into who we are.  While it is easy to define and place these generations into a category or box, one size does not fit all. As individuals, we are all uniquely different and have a life filled with people, events, and knowledge specific to only us. However, there are some similarities that influence how members of the same generation work, communicate, and respond to change.

traditionalist generations in the workforce
baby boomers in the workforce
generation x
millennials in the workforce
generation z in the workforce
Photo Credit:

It is important to note that COVID-19 will shape not only Generation Z but also every one of us alive today. When you look at global events across these generations, none has ever experienced anything like this aside from the AIDS epidemic. This is an unprecedented event that has changed the way we all work and live. What effect will it have going forward? What will the new normal look like? We are very fortunate to have so many advancements in technology over the years. Much of which we are doing now would not be possible without them!

Remote is the new normal right now, and it works. Like with any change or disruption to our regular lives, this is a challenge, but in this challenge, we also find opportunity. We are all adjusting to new routines and even creating them. This is what shapes us as individuals: resiliency, adaptability, and capacity for change. Despite whatever generation you belong to, you will always be able to count on one thing in life: change. As an individual, do you allow it to make you stronger, wiser, more adaptable, or do you let it break you and leave you feeling anxious, worried, and unable to move forward?

You might say what does this have to do with generations? It has everything to do with it! Although we are all different there are groups of us with shared experiences that shape our world views, perspectives, and how we let things affect us. This is a unique time in our world; we are all facing something that is going to shape us and generations going forward.

TAMMY SPENZIERO Director, Student Success