Your oldest and your youngest employees demand many of the same things in your workplace… now they have the numbers and time making Gen Y and Baby Boomers the biggest factors reshaping organisations and our immediate future.

There is a misconception over the nuances, habits and expectations of Gen-Y, my favourite being that they expect everything and are not ready to work for it, certainly irks me the most.

It has been commonly known since early 2010 that research indicates that Baby Boomers and Gen Y share very similar interests in workplace expectations and interests. Sitting in the middle lies gen X, the smaller of the 3 generations but as we move closer to 2012, and more importantly, towards reincarnation of 2008’s recession, the focus on Boomers not wanting to leave the workplace and Y’s looking to move up creates an immediate issue.

For organisations to make sure they are making the right choices when it comes to retaining the right people, uncluttered white spaces has created a profile of both the Boomer and the Gen Y along with a list of how to make them part of your team and to keep them engaged. The responses will more than likely surprise.

Generation Y:

In order of preference about why they would work for you:

  1. Talent, they want to be around high quality people
  2. Flexibility… it’s a new worlds, and they want to embrace it. 9 – 5 is lame.
  3. A career path or a map of their future. They are ambitious, give them prospects for advancement.
  4. Challenges and Opportunities… they want to be challenged
  5. The Boss is the leader, not the Boss, they want leadership and recognition form the top
  6. Technology, email is dead, social networks rule, let them have it

Baby Boomers

  1. Talent, they want to be around high quality people
  2. Autonomy, they want top be left ot do the work
  3. Stimulation, Boomers are constantly looking to be stimulated mentally
  4. Environment & World Issues, most boomers choose to give back through work
  5. Recognition that they are good at what they are doing (from the top)
  6. Flexibility, the world is changing, they want to change with it

To make sure Baby boomers are happy in your work place, you need to tick these boxes.

  1. The Long Haul, 42% of Baby Boomers say they will continue working well past 65
  2. Half way there, more than 45% still feel they are in the middle of their career.
  3. The Planet and Mother Nature, more than 50% of Boomers are engaged in volunteer work.
  4. Almost 90% stated they felt the need to work flexibility (and 50% remotely)
  5. Family is important and over 70% reported having family responsibilities.
To make sure your Gen Y are delivering… consider ticking these boxes.
  1. More than 84% say they have really big ambitions.
  2. Almost half state they would “prefer” to work for their current employer forever.
  3. 65% say having a network of friends at work is critical.
  4. 90% say their work needs to make a positive impact on the planet.
  5. Over 80% are comfortable working with different ethnic backgrounds.
  6. over 90% want access to online social networks in the workplace.
It becomes gleaming obvious that companies today compete on the calibre of their people. It is critical that we forge a way to best align the shared values of the boomers and gen y’s to make sure you get a major talent advantage over your competition.
The most interesting research to come out of this work was that both Boomers and Gen Y’s share a sense that financial gain is not the right reason to join an organsiation… the most consistent reasons to join an employer across both deographics related more to talent, teamwork, chalenges, experiences and recognition. Food for thought.