Last week, I wrote a blog responding to Deloitte's Millennial Survey.
Their study apparently found that the younger generation of workers (defined as anyone born after 1982) are so anxious about the world around them – Brexit, Trump, terrorism – that it's beginning to affect their careers.
My initial response looked at how we could combat these concerns by offering millennials more structure and stability in the workplace.
But then I realised something.
What about the other generations? Millennials surely aren't the only ones concerned by the current political and economic climate.
We’re still yet to fully realise the long-term impact of Brexit. We're unsure of what trade deals we'll be able to open up, and we're staring down the barrel of a blue collar labour shortage.
All of this affects Babyboomers and Gen X just as much as it does millennials.
It's understandably a hot topic to talk about millennials. But there’s a tendency to over-emphasize and over-analyse to the point where we forget about everyone else. We shouldn't forget the fact that there are issues affecting other generations, too.
Take Generation X, for example.
Tim Drake wrote at length about how the generation of workers born between roughly 1965 and 1979 is in danger of becoming a new lost generation – no pensions, no job satisfaction and no career optimism. How do you think they’re coping with all this uncertainty on top of that?
And take the Babyboomers, too. Now you might question exactly what Babyboomers have got to be worried about – after all, they’re the ones with the big spacious offices and the great pensions, right? Well, it’s not all plain sailing for them. Babyboomers entered the workforce from around the mid-1960s onwards. Think how much has changed in the workplace since then.
In 1965, you’d be lucky to fit a computer into a room. Today, people are walking around with at least one in their pocket, probably another one in their bag and maybe even another one on their wrist. And it’s not just tech – everything from leadership and workforce planning to recruitment and organisational structures are being fundamentally disrupted. How do you think they’re coping with all this uncertainty on top of that?
Of course millennials will be the ones to inherit the workplace of the future – but that's still some way off yet. Until then, the workplace has to contend with multiple generations occupying the workplace at once. And each one of those generations will have its own set of issues, anxieties and problems.
Any action plan on how to allay anxieties needs to be all-encompassing. We need to think about the older generations as much as we do the hip, young heirs to the new world of work. Like it or not, it’s up to employers to accommodate all of them!