Today’s workforce spans five generations: Traditionalists (born 1928 to 1945), Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964), Generation X (born 1965 to 1980), Millennials (born 1981 to 1996), and Generation Z (born 1997 and after) (Pew Research Center). As the "office" moves online in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the eldest and youngest employees of organizations find themselves having to blend communication styles even more than usual.
With 1.3 billion Gen Zs set to enter the workforce over the next 10 years, older generations now carry the onus of adjusting office culture to be conducive to work and communication styles of Gen Zs, meeting them somewhere in the middle -- emojis and hashtags in tow.
To explore this further, the NYUSPS Wasserman Center for Career Development hosted a conversation that brought together three members of different generations: a Gen Z, a Millennial, and a Gen X. The goals included (1) discussing effective methods of communication in today’s multigenerational workforce; (2) naming and avoiding potential communication breakdowns rooted in generational practices; (3) understanding the impact of the virtual working environment on multigenerational communication; and (4) discussing workplace “code switching” as it relates to generational norms.