It has become the norm to label different generations, so right now the workforce of any nation is made up of ‘baby boomers’ (born between 1946 and 1960s), ‘generation X’ (1960s to early 1980s), and ‘generation Y’ (early 1980s to mid 1990s). Although some organisations tend to have employees from one generation (for instance restaurant chains tend to employ younger people, whereas universities have an older workforce), many organisations will have a mix of different generations.
What is emerging is that jobs and work has to be designed differently for these three groups, as they have very different attitudes towards employment and their employer. This is discussed in some detail in The Economist article, but can be summed up in the following quote: “Baby-boomers are not slacking off as they age; they are seen as hard-working and productive. The middle ranks of Generation X-ers, who might be expected to be battling their way up the corporate ladder, are viewed as the best team players. Opinions on the youth of Generation Y, also known as “millennials”, are less surprising: good at tech stuff but truculent and a bit work-shy”.