Evolving Company Culture: Navigating Generational Perspectives

Jessica Waddle headshot
Jessica Waddle is a marketing assistant at Gallagher Security.

A thriving company culture is essential for the success of any business, encompassing elements such as communication, respect, shared goals and commitment to employee growth; however, as different generations increasingly populate the workforce, their unique perspectives and expectations shape the evolving landscape of organizational culture.

Generational Breakdown

Understanding the distinct characteristics of each generation is crucial for fostering a harmonious workplace. As of 2023, Millennials and Generation X lead the workforce, comprising approximately 50 million and 43 million individuals, respectively. Generation Z is rapidly catching up to Baby Boomers, with both groups contributing 17 million workers each. By 2024, Generation Z is anticipated to surpass the Baby Boomer population.

Generational Ages as of 2023:

  • 122-96: The Greatest Generation
  • 95-78: Silent Generation
  • 77-59: Baby Boomers
  • 58-43: Generation X
  • 42-27: Millennials
  • 26-11: Generation Z

The Impact of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed significant changes in the workplace culture. The shift to remote work, the rise of hybrid positions, a focus on continuous learning and an emphasis on life experiences have reshaped how different generations perceive their roles. And whether working alongside or managing these different generations, it’s important to understand these differences.

Generational Perspectives

  • Baby Boomers: For Baby Boomers, work is integral to life, reflecting dedication and loyalty through tangible hard work. As this generation retires, the transition to hybrid work options accommodates their desire for fulfillment while spending more time with family.
  • Generation X: Known for self-sufficiency, Generation X thrives in workplaces fostering creativity and problem-solving skills. Embracing technological changes, they appreciate the shift towards a culture of learning, life experiences and work-life balance.
  • Millennials: Often labeled as the “job-hopping” generation, Millennials seek meaning and self-fulfillment in their work. Companies are responding by encouraging self-development through mentoring, associations and tuition programs, providing opportunities for professional growth within the organization.
  • Generation Z: Valuing experiences over strict work commitments, Generation Z strives for a work-life balance. Despite the pandemic-induced shift to remote work, many within this generation have developed a newfound appreciation for in-person work environments. Flexibility, career development and learning paths are prioritized over traditional salary considerations.

Navigating the diverse expectations and values of each generation is crucial for fostering a positive and inclusive company culture. As the workforce continues to evolve, organizations that adapt and tailor their approach to accommodate generational perspectives will likely thrive in attracting, retaining and developing top talent.

This article originally appeared in RISE Together, a newsletter presented by SIA’s RISE community for emerging security industry leaders.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.