Growing up during entirely different events in time, the Baby Boomers and the Millennials are completely different groups of people. They have different perspectives, values, and opinions. Specific research groups conduct studies to make general comparisons of the two age groups.
Studying the results of this research can help certain companies with marketing techniques, strategies to grow their brands, and helps employers to stay up-to-date with the needs of their future employees. Knowing the characteristics of the generations can give us an idea of how the market will change in the future.
Every new generation plays a role in the future of our economy. As the Baby Boomers start to retire, the Millennials will be taking over. New characteristics of employees guarantee that there will be changes in the way things are done and how/why products are bought.
Not only is understanding generational differences beneficial for marketing, it’s also really interesting for everyone else; seeing how growing up at different times, with different living situations, can change the entirety of an age group.
The following is a list of comparisons between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials.
The Baby Boomers make up 45% of the workplace, while Millennials make up 10% of the workplace, with the percentage continuously growing.
- Baby Boomers: Having grown up before the huge advancement in technology, Boomers are used to a completely different method of communication than the Millennials. Often, Boomers communicate using the telephone or via email. Companies who were built with the Boomers use meetings as a form of communication. They prefer face-to-face, honest, direct interactions.
- Millennials: Unlike the Boomers, Millennials grew up with technology on the rise. Most of them had cell phones at a younger age, adapting to using the hand-held devices. Their form of communication is text messages–and a lot of them. Social media is the most common way to reach each other quickly. Using lots of “emojis” in each message. If you’re a Boomer reading this, an emoji is a picture expressing an emotion via text message. The Millennials are not as formal in the way they communicate. Whilst sitting beside each other, Millennials will be staring at their cell phones the entire time.
- Work ethic.
- Boomers: Baby boomers value their position in the company. For fear of losing their position, they will work long hours, often times neglecting necessary family time. The Boomers is where long, 50 hour work weeks come from. Loyal to their companies and focussed on relentless improvement to move up and receive the benefits of their loyalty. In the workplace, they want a comfortable, friendly environment.
- Millennials: Likely due to constant use of technology while doing other things, Millennials are multi-tasking professionals. Similar to the Boomers, Millennials are ambitious–just not quite as focused. Work and family balance is much more important to this age group. Millennials want to make use of technology, allowing them to work flexibly. They want to be evaluated based on the quality of their work, not the time or place in which they got it done. Millennials enjoy a fun, creative, positive environment.
- Boomers: Value ambition, respect from younger generations, personal growth, teamwork, work relationships.
- Millennials: value diversity, staying connected via Internet, education and training in their job, meaningful work.
If you look around and observe the people around you, it’s easy to notice that there are general differences between generations. However, the range of people within each age group is too broad for these characteristics to be certain for every person. Everyone is different, the differences between generations are generalizations.