Learning From Each Other: How Older and Younger Employees can Thrive Together

Employee Advice , Employer Advice | PreviewMe | 13 September 2018

The modern day workplace is more diverse than ever before. With three generations deeply entrenched and another one knocking on the door, young and old are now working side-by-side.

Each generation brings with them their own unique set of characteristics, tendencies, positives and negatives. With many companies having a diverse workforce, it is important your company is able to harness the extreme melting pot of ideas and experience so they can translate them into a successful and productive environment.


Who makes up the workforce?

Firstly, Baby Boomers, these are generally the elder-statesman of a company. Born between 1946-1964, they are generally highly committed, great mentors and disciplined. However, they also tend to be highly structured and may resist change or new technologies.

Secondly, Gen X make up a large portion of the current workplace. Born between 1965-1980, they make quality managers as they are critical thinkers, revenue-driven and experienced. But, they also seek to enjoy a favourable work-life balance.

Lastly, Millennials, are the new wave of employees sweeping through the landscape. Set to make-up the majority of workplaces in the coming years, they are known for their unique and outside the box thinking, technology savviness and independence. They also strongly believe in work-life balance, workplace benefits and a positive company culture.


What we can learn from elder employees

Loyalty, a lot of elder workers are driven by their loyalty to a company. Many have grown up with the notion that you stay with one company for the entirety of your working life. While this isn’t necessary, younger employees can learn the benefits of sticking with a firm for a longer period of time.

Tenacity, chances are elder employees have been through several ups and downs in their career. Thus, they can teach the younger generations the value of pushing through hard times.

Interpersonal skills, with our digitally driven society, younger employees tend to not recognise the importance of building personal relationships with colleagues or clients. While older workers understand the importance of building quality professional connections with people they interact with on a professional basis.

Experience, it may be the obvious one, but older employees are able to pass on their experience in navigating workplace settings. Whether it’s relationships, workplace rules, company or industry politics and secret, the wisdom they can impart is invaluable.


What we can learn from younger employees

Technology, millennials have grown up in the digital age. They are highly tech-savvy and essentially able to ‘coach’ older employees how to use technology to improve efficiency and output.

Risk-taking, while older employees tend to play it safe or remain at a company for long periods, younger employees can teach them that in order to reach a certain point you may need to take a risk or two. Whether this is thinking outside the box, asking for responsibility or job-hopping.

Work-life balance, nowadays young employees want a flexible working schedule. One that allows them to work remotely or affords them a longer holiday. This typically goes against the way older generations approach work-life balance, which is usually highly structured and formal.

Chasing a dream, younger generations are highly aspirational and are driven to achieve goals and reach their dreams, instead of settling for ‘good’. This lesson goes hand-in-hand with taking risks.


With the diverse range of employees available to companies nowadays, it is important you are able to find the right employee for your business. The best way to do this is to start implementing video into your recruitment process. While traditional CV’s provide a general understanding of a candidate, video CV’s have the ability to show you who a candidate truly is.

Candidates are now able to show you their personality, walk you through their portfolio or explain how they can impact your company, all before the first interview. This not only speeds up the hiring process but it also increases the chances of you connecting with the right candidate.

At PreviewMe we provide a recruitment platform that utilises the power of video. We have a great track record of helping businesses improve their recruitment process, allowing them to build the workforce they desire.

To find out more, contact us today.