AKRON — Generations in the workplace has been a hot topic in a variety of industries and for good reason — this is the first time in history that five generations are active in the workforce.
From the Traditional Generation to Generation Z and everywhere in between, people are heading to work.
“History is in the making,” said Meagan Johnson, Generation X, co-author of Generations Inc. with her father, Larry Johnson, a Baby Boomer.
“Never before have five generations occupied the workplace as they do now,” she claims.
Why does this matter? Because working together can spell the difference between a successful business and one that simply muddles along or, ultimately, fails. Tire Business plans to take a look into each generation in the workplace, defining key characteristics and tips for working together. There are often misconceptions about each generation from the perspective of others.
Tire Business' “Generations in the Workplace” series will take a detailed look at each generation — not just exploring the traits of each generation, but why each generation's members are the way they are, with tips for working with and managing them.
Earlier this year Ms. Johnson spoke at the Virginia Automotive Association's annual conference, after which Tire Business Reporter Jennifer Karpus sat down and spoke with her. This led to Ms. Karpus reading Generations Inc. and putting together a five-part series on the topic.
This first installment focused on the Traditional Generation.
Stay tuned to www.tirebusiness.com as a new generation — as described in the Johnsons' book — will be featured each week.
This week will focus on the “Baby Boomers,” which is a term coined for the 77 million people that were born between 1946-1964. The country had never seen such a boost in birth rate when the Boomers first came on the scene, and as they get closer to retirement age the number of senior citizens in the U.S. is going to double.
“That's like taking every single person that lives in California and every single person that lives in the New England states. That's how many senior citizens we're going to have,” Ms. Johnson said.
From the Traditional Generation to their children —the Baby Boomers — a lot had changed. For instance, Ms. Johnson explained that her grandfather, a Traditional, said his family pulled him out of school in eighth grade because he had to get to work.
This is in contrast to her other grandfather, who was also part of the Traditional Generation, but went all the way through school. He even attended college following WWII with the help of the G.I. Bill. While growing up, Traditionals may have thought college was out of reach for one reason or another, Ms. Johnson said Baby Boomers pursued educational opportunities.