Harnessing the Power of a Multigenerational Workforce in 2023: Gen Z Vs Millennials

Millennials VS Gen Z — what sets these generations apart, where do they meet common ground and what do they care about in a workplace? Read on to learn how to start leveraging your multigenerational workforce in 2023!

Robynn Farrell

Apr 4, 2023 10:40

Workplace dynamics have significantly shifted over the past years. Post-pandemic times present unique challenges and opportunities for organisations. Many employees have become accustomed to working remotely and are more acutely aware of the importance of flexibility, mental health and wellness in their work environment. 

Employees of different ages, however, have varying goals, needs and levels of expertise, which can present various challenges when managing a multigenerational workforce

The socio-political difficulties and technological advancements Millennials and Gen Zs experienced, such as 911, the Black Lives Matters movement, the Great Resignation brought on by the COVID pandemic, war, as well as the ongoing global warming and financial crises, have influenced their worldview and behavior. 

And although they both belong to younger generations that experienced the rapid advancement of technology, there are certain distinctions between them in their perspectives on work and methods for carrying out crucial jobs.

Today, due to the multigenerational nature of the workforce, having a diverse team can only benefit your business. However, you may need to adjust your approach when leading a team of multigenerational employees to harness its full potential.

In this article, we’ll discuss the important similarities and distinctions when it comes to Millennial vs Gen Z generations, as well as how to interact with both groups effectively.

Start Harnessing the Power of a Multigenerational Workforce

Every individual contributes a unique combination of ideas, attitudes, behaviors, and preferences that will impact how they approach their work and interact with other generations. 

The first step in developing thriving, happy workplaces where cross-generational collaboration and innovation may occur is getting to know each generation. 

Who Are Millennials?

Those born between the years 1981 and 1996 are referred to as “Millennials” or “Gen Y”.  Millennials range in age, from the mid-20s for the youngest to mid-40s for the oldest. 

One of the main differences between the Millennials and Gen Z generations is that they were the first to experience the internet, mobile technology, a recession, and economic hardships brought on by college loans. 

Compared to other generations like Generation X, Baby Boomers, or the Silent Generation, Millennials also started to take more interest in racial and gender equality.

Who Are Gen Z?

Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, iGen, Post-Millennials, or Zoomers, refers to those who were born between the years 1997 and 2015. This generation is typically the most diversified and technologically advanced to date because they have grown up with access to both cell phones and the internet.

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Differences Between Millennials and Gen Z

There are various similarities and differences when it comes to Millennials vs Gen Z. Below are some distinguishing characteristics between Millennials and Gen Z-ers in the workplace:

Millennials in the Workplace

It’s a common misconception that Millennials in the workplace are less efficient and productive than older generations — this is simply not the case. On the contrary, the Millennial work ethic is just as strong; however, they are more likely to find creative ways to achieve the same result in less time. 

Shortly said, Millennials in the workplace are a confident and trusting age, and significantly more tech adept than past generations. They have a high regard for social concerns where they can unite with others to effect change and are able to acquire a lot of information.

And even though Millennials at work occasionally lose patience, they are well-educated and want to contribute, making them a great asset to any team. Therefore, it’s crucial that you understand the Millennial work ethic and know how to motivate Millennials at work rather than just manage or deal with them.

Additionally, as a manager, mastering the art of persuading Millennials to sincerely desire to make significant contributions to your company will help you surpass your competitors. 

Millennials are a generation that is looking for a purpose in their lives; they want to feel that their employment, volunteer work, and lives, in general, are having an impact. They love undertaking worthwhile projects and often taking on new challenges, to put it briefly. 

Millennials are also referred to as digital natives, as they are extremely tech-savvy. They are innovatively minded and know how to employ knowledge to produce innovation. 

Millennials typically consider their coworkers and even their supervisors as partners in collaboration; they don’t like to feel subordinated and would rather be seen as fellow employees with something to offer.

Gen Z in the Workplace

Generation Z aspires to change the world! They have the idealistic vision for a better future and the know-how and savviness to make it happen, whether it’s by assisting the underprivileged, protecting the environment, or putting an end to homelessness.

One of the main differences between Millennials and Gen Z is that Zoomers prefer to work alone. A Gen Z in the workplace is often also viewed as being too laid back, however, this is simply not true. 

The Gen Z work ethic is typically characterized by competitiveness, so it stands to reason that a Gen Z at work would be most productive when they feel motivated. Another Gen Z work ethic trait is that they are more risk-averse, making a Gen Z at work more likely to look for stability and security in a job. 

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Similarities Between Millennials and Gen Z

The main similarities when it comes to Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace are that they both prefer to work for companies that prioritise a work-life balance as well as value and appreciate them. 

They are also both tech-savvy and respond well to recognition of their achievements, as well as transparency and open communication.

Benefits of a Multigenerational Workforce

Your company may benefit greatly from having a multigenerational workforce. Here are just a few advantages you can leverage in a diverse team:

  • A multigenerational workforce provides learning opportunities.

The opportunity to share experiences, ideas, and thoughts is particularly special among employees of all ages. A great strategy to efficiently solve problems and come up with original solutions to your company’s concerns is to combine different generations.

  • Mentoring is encouraged in a workplace with a range of ages.

 A multigenerational company can establish a mentorship program to pair up employees from various generations. Mentorship initiatives are a great approach to fostering intergenerational learning and team cohesion.

  • A workforce that spans generations can combine their expertise. 

Every generation brings a new set of skills to the workforce. Your employees can benefit from greater production and efficiency by teaching and using these skills among their coworkers. What’s more, they can also learn from one another.

  • A workforce that spans generations brings about more creativity. 

Diverse perspectives breed diverse ideas, which boosts team creativity. Everyone at your organisation will undoubtedly have a distinct perspective on each difficulty you confront due to the four generations’ worth of varied life experiences and worldviews. And by outsourcing specific jobs, you can enhance creativity even further by leveraging some of the most global creative minds in your industry.

10 Things To Consider When Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

Despite the difficulties, business owners and managers can take several steps to create a harmonious and effective workplace for all generations. Consider the top recommendations below:

  1. It’s essential to be flexible when managing a multigenerational team in everything from working hours to communication methods. By encouraging flexibility among your staff, you can help overcome conflicts or divergent opinions about how things ought to be done.
  1. When managing a multigenerational workforce, know your personnel. Take time to learn about your employees as people, not just as members of a certain generation. Most employees want to feel valued and heard, and what better way to do so than by really getting to know your staff on an individual level?
  1. Endorse a collaborative work environment. Give your staff a chance to learn from one another. Creating knowledge-sharing networks is in your best interest because every age group has a wealth of experience and information. 
  1. Focus on skills and potential. The pandemic has disrupted traditional career paths and led to a greater emphasis on skills development rather than traditional qualifications. By offering skills development opportunities, you are more likely to attract a wider range of employees, no matter their age, that will stay with your company for the long haul. 
  1. Setting up a mentorship program where Millennials are matched with members of Generation Z can be significantly beneficial in the workplace as it allows them to acquire tried and tested techniques from experienced professionals. Alternatively, encourage intergenerational teamwork through mutual mentoring. This will assist team members in getting along better, understanding one another, and boosting employee engagement.
  1. Inclusivity and diversity are key in a multigenerational workplace. When managing a multigenerational staff, avoiding stereotypes and ensuring that team members feel that they are in a safe, supportive and non-discriminatory environment helps build trust and rapport among employees and their employer. You can easily do this by outsourcing certain roles in your team, allowing you to acquire the best talent from anywhere in the world. 
  1. Make sure to adapt your communication strategies to your workforce’s varied age groups. Communicate with each member of your team according to their preferences, keeping in mind that each generation has a preferred form of communication. For example, a Gen Z at work generally prefers face-to-face communication whereas millennials at work would opt to communicate via chat. However both are quite adept to technology and with most companies otping for video calls and chat since the pandemic for day-to-day communication, outsourcing can be an effective solution to broading your talent pool.
  1. Prioritise mental health and well-being. The pandemic has taken a toll on many people’s mental health and well-being. Consider emphasizing mental health and wellness initiatives as both Millennials and Gen Zers value work-life balance.
  1. Offer remote work opportunities. Many employees have become accustomed to working remotely during the pandemic and may prefer this option going forward. It allows for more flexibility and ultimately contributes to a better work-life balance, which both generations value, making it the perfect opportunity to incorporate outsourcing roles or tasks.
  1. Providing regular feedback and recognition fosters a positive and motivational work environment where both Millennials and Gen Z-ers can thrive. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to want to stay at a company and are driven to want to improve their performance.

Final Thoughts

Overall, recruiting in post-pandemic times requires organisations to be flexible, adaptable, and empathetic. Even though it may not seem like much, it shows that you value and are aware of employee preferences. 

Organisations can attract and retain top talent and build a strong multigenerational workforce by emphasising remote work, mental health and well-being, work-life balance and flexibility, skills development, diversity and collaboration, as well as feedback and recognition. 

Blackbear has a vast database of skilled and experienced professionals in a multitude of industries. So, why choose between Millennial vs Gen Z candidates when you can leverage our multigenerational talent pool? Get ahead of your competitors without the stress and hassle of scrolling the internet by taking a look at our demo — it’s free!

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