Generation theory appeared in the 90 of the XX century. Its founders are the Americans Neil Hove and William Strauss. According to this theory, generations do not differ among themselves in age, but in underlying values. At the moment, there is the following classification of generations:
- Generation of Winners (GI) - people of 1900-1923 birth;
- The silent generation - the people of 1923-1943. birth;
- The generation of Baby Boomers - the people of 1943-1965 birth;
- Generation X (it is also called the Thirteenth) - People 1965-1984 years. birth;
- Generation Y ("Millenniums", or the generation of the Web) - people of 1983-2003. birth;
- Generation Z - people of 2003-2023 birth, respectively, part of the representatives of this young generation has not yet been born.
The essence of this theory is as follows: every four generations make up a cycle. The duration of one cycle is 80-90 years. Then the repetition begins, that is, generation Y has similar values to the generation of Winners, and generation Z is similar to the Silent generation.
Of course, generations are not at 100% similar to each other, but the core values still intersect, since the events that shaped their values are similar.
Who is at the helm: X or Y?
Based on this theory, we can conclude that all generations are different and their approach to work is different. Accordingly, the work processes for these generations must be built in different ways. Of course, in the field of management, “situational leadership” can come to the rescue, which will help the leader to behave most effectively with each subordinate. But the process of personnel management includes motivation, adaptation, and many other factors. In this article, we will focus specifically on the adaptation process, since this process in most companies, unfortunately, is either not established at all for a number of objective and subjective reasons, or it is not built correctly. Today, Generation X is at the helm, but already in 5-10 years, Y-people will begin to take their place, and many young and promising people are already in leadership positions. There are companies where the bulk of employees are representatives of generation Y.
Audit of employees is the first step towards the development of an adaptation program
It makes sense to make an adaptation system for each generation, which will not be too expensive for the company, as it might seem at first glance. Rather, it takes more time to work out the system itself.
Before embarking on any difficulties and prescribing various adaptation programs for different generations, conduct an audit of your employees. Do you have a lot of X-in? And y-in? Probably, the Z-generation is not yet in your company, but it is already close, another two or three years - and these children will graduate from school and go on an independent voyage through life, and it's time to think about developing a system of adaptation for them - your future employees. But while it is not there yet, the process of developing an adaptation system for Z can be postponed. And focus on Y. Why not focus on Z, you ask? Because the existing methodologies of the adaptation system have already been developed X for themselves. Remember who composed the programs and wrote books on adaptation? Most authors are representatives of generation X. But what is simple and clear to this generation is not understood and foreign to younger specialists. Of course, the more Y appears in companies and the more specialists of this young generation achieve some significant results in their field, the more methods appear for them.
Naturally, it makes no sense to produce a variety of adaptation systems within one company. It is worth developing a common system of adaptation, taking into account the values of the generations that work in your company. And as a competent seller, “selling” to employees exactly what they need. For example, if a representative of Generation Y, the Millennium, comes to the company, then for him some measure should be included in the program that emphasizes the values of his generation, he needs to present the information in a language that he understands.
Generation Y Values
What are the core values of generation Y?
Changes, sociability, self-confidence, diversity, subordination, responsibility, achievement, morality, immediate reward, naivety, are well versed in technology.
What event can be included in the overall adaptation system so that it is easier for such an employee to adapt?
Suppose your adaptation program for the whole company is as follows:
On the first working day, all necessary papers for employment are signed with the employee and they are introduced to local regulations. The HR manager briefly introduces him to the company: when you can take a break, where to eat, what traditions, rules, etc. are accepted. The employee is assigned a mentor from his department.
During the week, the mentor conducts a tour of the company, introduces other employees and introduces you to the course.
Further, the adaptation program is scheduled ahead for the 3 of the month, according to the results of which certification is carried out.
In order for the representative of generation Y to be interested in understanding and adapting to the company, it is imperative to include in the adaptation program information on what career prospects are opening up before him, how soon he will be able to receive a reward for an achievement, information about the hierarchy is especially important for Y On the one hand, they are accustomed to obey their elders, and on the other, they expect fast career growth and instant praise. It’s as if they are competing with each other, and if Petya Ivanov already has a car in 23 of the year, and Vanya Petrov doesn’t have a car yet, then Petrov will probably feel uncomfortable in comparison with Ivanov and will strive to earn money for the car by all means. And it doesn’t matter if he needs her. It is important to be the best and the first. Indeed, one of the values of the representatives of generation Y is achievement. So show this newcomer in the adaptation process what achievements he will be able to make in your company and what to get for it. The reward does not have to be material. It is enough to attribute to the post the adjective "leader" or "senior", thereby adding responsibility, which Y-ki also love. Maybe he will be sent to continuing education courses or his portrait, as the best employee of the month, will hang on the honor board. In a word, make it clear to such a specialist that he is important and valuable for the company, and if he shows himself well, the company will certainly appreciate it and help him achieve his ambitious goals. But before you promise, make sure you keep the promises. Of course, Y-ks are not as hot as Z-ones, and they do not change work so quickly, nevertheless, a certain share of the responsibility inherent in their generation affects, but they will not wait a few years, listening to your empty promises, but simply one day they will go to the employer who keeps his word. And they can do it at the most inopportune moment for you.
Generation Z Values
What then to do with the Zs, which are still growing up? What are they like? They are even more independent and changeable than Y-ki. The values of this generation are still being formed, but now it is safe to say that they all look towards "life in high." Many representatives of the “late” generation Y (those who were born in the 1995 year and later) are more like the Z-in than the Y-in. And they will pass on their values to the full Z-meter. What kind of concept is this "high life"? This is a free schedule, freelance work, the ability to live vivid emotions. They are no longer so much interested in material wealth and achievements, but in the opportunity to travel around the world, meet friends when they want, and, in principle, do only what they love. There are so many books and programs around Generation Z that you need to love yourself the way you are, that you need to work without fail at work that brings you pleasure and the main thing in life is not material values, but spiritual ones. Moreover, the Z generation is growing during rapidly developing technologies, and if the Y-ki still remember what it is like to shout “Sasha, go out for a walk!”, Remember the time without the Internet, then the Z generation cannot imagine life without modern gadgets. They do not understand how it was possible to do homework without the Internet, how it was possible to live without a mobile phone and social networks. From the real world Z-you go into the virtual. They have hundreds of friends online, but few in real life. And they do not tend to become attached to someone or something too much. After all, one of their main values is freedom. Freedom in everything. Today they communicate with one company, tomorrow with another. In the same way they will apply to work. Everything is simple for them: if I don’t like it here, there are still plenty of places around where I will feel good.
And although it’s too early to talk about the full development of the adaptation system for the Z generation, in 5 years its first representatives will work in your companies. And employers will have to adapt to their "conditions."
So far, the most “freedom-loving” employees are still representatives of that same “late generation Y”. They even, at times, relate themselves to generation Z. But still, they are not real Z. Therefore, employers have a great chance to practice.
Transition from adaptation system X to systems Y and Z
What will help adapt Z and the “late generation Y"? Gadgets, gamification (From the English game - a game, these are technologies and systems for training and personnel management, for improving staff performance, increasing motivation in sales and customer support departments, for marketing and advertising. - SR), freedom of expression. In the adaptation program of such employees, the main thing is to interest them. They just should be interested. Ideally, the adaptation program of this generation should be turned into a quest and give them a chance to get to know the company themselves. But at the same time, of course, it is necessary to quietly control the process. In addition, it is worth remembering that, together with all this desire for freedom and “living for your own pleasure”, this generation is not ready to take responsibility in the sense of the word in which representatives of earlier generations understand it. Z will wait for clear instructions from you, as from the employer, and do exactly as much as is prescribed in the job description. And if something does not work out for them, they quickly shift the responsibility to the leader, because they completed the task in the way they were given it. If something went wrong, then this leader incorrectly stated the instructions. Do not forget about this interesting feature when you build an adaptation program for future generations.
In fact, everything is not as scary as it might seem. Of course, in each generation there are both responsible and talented individuals, and irresponsible and mediocre characters. With proper management and understanding of the core values of generations, you can build an effective system for any generation. In addition, generation Z may still change, because their values are still in the process of formation. And we, adults, can influence how they grow up and enter adulthood.
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