orange blob vector
blue blob vector
Back to Blog
workplace generation

How to Recognize Different Generations in the Workplace

By Ehsan Memari
Published on March 9, 2021

The current business environment may possibly be the first that includes all five generations working side by side. Managing multiple generations in the workplace may not always be easy for most business owners. If you are a leader in today’s workforce, you would have most likely experienced firsthand the distinct set of values each generation brings to the workplace.

Different generations may also have varied expectations, perspectives, ideas and communication styles. The different generations that make up the modern-day workforce vary from one another, with some similarities.

The desire for recognition is a preference that transcends, regardless of the generation factor. Nonetheless, implementing a management strategy within your organization that can address the distinctive characteristics of each generation, will equip employers to utilize their employees’ respective strengths. Making for a stronger workforce and increasing your organization’s value in the marketplace. 

Understanding a variety of generations in the workplace doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Let’s take a look at the typical ways you can recognize employees who are Baby Boomers, Millennials, and beyond.

Generation Z

Members of Generation Z were born between 1997 and 2012. This generation is the youngest included in the modern workforce, with the oldest members of this group just beginning their careers, and a vast majority still in school. Raised in a digital era, they may view smartphones and other digital devices as essential. Technology has also played a large part in shaping their relationships. In comparison to previous generations, this generation can be more focused on the essence of a person, versus race or ethnicity.

How To Recognize Generation Z

When Generation Z enters the workforce, they lead with an expectation for a regular recognition. This trait is not to be confused with them being entitled, but only because it is what they are accustomed to. Gen Zers were raised in a world where likes and comments come almost instantaneous to them sharing content. So it is no wonder this generation values continuous feedback. With this taken into consideration, the most important tip for recognizing your Generation Z employees is to provide positive feedback as often as you can.


Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, and are the largest generation in the current workforce. Many members of this generation began working during a recession. They are more comfortable communicating digitally than previous generations, as they grew up in an internet revolutionized society.

In the workplace, millennials might prefer to send emails, instant messages, or text messages- for efficiency purposes. They also tend to adapt to new social media platforms with more ease than older generations. Labeled by Time Magazine as the Me, Me, Me generation, millennials have developed a somewhat negative reputation as emerging adults. Truthfully, this generation just possesses a different set of values than that of their predecessors and there is nothing wrong with that.

How To Recognize Millennials

Very similar to Generation Z, a Millennials world is encompassed with technology. They have the ability to integrate new software and learning platforms into their digital ecosystems, seamlessly. It is a good idea to incorporate a recognition aspect into any online learning platforms to recognize members of this generation. Millennials, in a way, are similar to Generation Z as they are used to getting feedback pretty frequently via peers from social media. The lack of feedback may cause this generation to lean towards the assumption that you are unhappy with their work or doing something wrong. 

Generation X

This generation, shaped by the evolution of personal computers, were born between 1965 and 1980. Situated between the Baby boomers and Millennials, Generation X has endured fewer stereotypes and is sometimes referred to as the forgotten generation. They have been viewed as self-reliant, hardworking, and fiscally responsible. Gen Xers have their fair share of unique traits and preferences.  

How To Recognize Generation X

Generation X enjoys receiving recognition but is more distinct in comparison to the other generations. Typically, they favored being recognized in a more private manner or among a small group of company. A theme that runs consistently throughout Generation X is a desire for independence and self-governance. Always check in with all employees, to determine whether they feel comfortable receiving recognition publicly, but be extra mindful in that area when working with a Generation Xer.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers have been known for their goal-centric tendencies and strong work ethic. This cohort is seemingly hardworking and value in-person interaction. They use technology for job-related functions but did not grow up using computers. They are the most traditional of the generations in today’s workforce. In some instances, their preferences may clash with the generations that followed them. If they are not properly understood, this may lead to friction as the Baby Boomer generation may feel like the workplace is evolving away from their familiar values. 

How To Recognize Baby Boomers

In the Baby Boomer’s early careers, technology was implemented quite differently than in today’s workplace. Delivering recognition to them digitally is meaningful, but to really maximize the effectiveness of your message you should incorporate an in-person element, especially for milestone occasions. Something as simple as a toast to them over lunch, or include them in an in-person award ceremony.

There are many benefits to today’s multigenerational workforce. Tailor your work-place to accommodate the characteristics of different generations to ensure that everyone is able to reach their potential. 

SkyPrep can help you manage a multigenerational workforce and communicate through a variety of channels. To learn more, request a call and one of our specialists will contact you shortly.

Request a Call

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Improve your online training today with SkyPrep.

SkyPrep client Ebay
SkyPrep client Buffalo Bills
SkyPrep client Joint Commission International
SkyPrep client Goodwill
SkyPrep client Dickeys
SkyPrep client Massachusetts General Hospital
Talk to an Expert