Editor’s note: Chris Hauck is the founder of Hauckeye. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “Generations at Work.”
During our qualitative research we interviewed other researchers to develop our set of 99 attributes used to describe each generation. In the quantitative phase, 1000 respondents (250 per generation) rank ordered the top attribute statements that describe their own generation, and in the next question, they allocated 100 points across their top five attributes. They repeated the exercise to describe how they view each of the three other generations as well.
Older generations generally see younger generations as being especially tech savvy. This isn’t surprising, as younger generations tend to be so much more comfortable with technology than those who were introduced to computers and mobile devices as adults. But this allocation of points for tech savvy as the primary attribute is a simple reminder that older generations miss many strong positives of younger generations in the workplace that extend far beyond their ability to use technology. If you see everyone who is younger as being a walking mobile device, you miss out on all the other things young individuals bring to your organization. Those same young people see themselves somewhat differently. Of course, they see themselves as tech savvy compared to others at work; how could they not? But they offer so many additional positive traits to organizations. Each Gen Z individual brings their own unique strengths to your organization. To get the most from your team, it’s more important to find those unique strengths and meet their individual needs rather than focus on the stereotypes.
Alternatively, let’s look at Boomers. How are Boomers perceived at work?
Most important to this generation is that they are seen as hard working. If you remember, the superstars in our organizations...