What was the Ok Boomer of your generation

OK Boomers - How Well Can Five Different Generations Work Together?

Young and old - there has always been a potential for conflict. “OK, Boomer” - the meme of the hour is currently bringing up some nice examples. Above all, however, the different age structures are often difficult to combine in everyday working life. And no wonder that sometimes it crunches and cracks if you take a closer look at the five different generations that meet in German offices today:

Quiet generation (74 - 91 years)

Baby Boomers (55-73 Years)

Generation X (39 - 54 years)

Millennials (23-38 years old)

Generation Z (22 years and younger)

Since each of the groups has different expectations, wishes, life experiences and demands, it is not at all surprising that there is fundamentally a great potential for conflict here.

It do really be like that. from r / okboomer

But is it really the case that young and old cannot work together well? The office supplies supplier Viking and the market research institute OnePoll investigated this question. You questioned 1,000 German employees and carried out a study on the generation gap in the workplace.

Who works with whom anyway?

Does the 21-year-old have much to do with the 75-year-old? According to the study, two thirds of those surveyed have daily contact with Millennials and Generation X. In addition, around 44 percent work with Generation Z and the Baby Boomers on a daily basis, and every fourth person has daily contact with the silent generation.

Where is there potential for stress?

The two most opposing parties - early 20s and over 70s - are not very popular. Because a quarter of the respondents had negative experiences with these age groups. Frequent reasons were the attitude to work and power struggles. But the Baby Boomers and Generation X didn't do very well either. So far, there have been conflicts here for a third of the study participants.

What is striking, however, is that Generation Z is the “black sheep” of the age groups. One third of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials each had problems working together and working attitudes. It is also noticeable that the work ethic is a thorn in the side even for those of the same age. Around 37 percent of Generation Z also complained about this among work colleagues of their age.

Above all, there is irritation when communicating. While the older ones tend to seek personal or telephone contact, the younger ones mainly do it online.

The different work attitudes are also an issue. The silent generation and baby boomers want their work to be valued and rate their superiors as very high. It looks a little different here with Generation X. For them, work is often the means to an end, enabling them to have a beautiful life. Problems are also addressed directly, which of course does not go down well with everyone. In the case of Millennials and Generation Z, for example, hierarchies are becoming increasingly flatter.

What drives the groups?

The motivation behind the work also varies greatly from generation to generation. This can be seen in the specification of points that are particularly important to the participants in the workplace. Baby boomers need security - 90 percent said having a safe job is a very high priority. It is different with the silent generation. Here, 90 percent attach importance to professional development. With Generation X and Millennials, things look very different again. The focus here is on salaries (83 percent and 86 percent) and friendly colleagues (84 percent and 88 percent). For Generation Z, passion for the job counts (84 percent).

However, everyone agrees on the issue of autonomy. Everyone thinks that is important. However, the kickers can be packed up again. Because less than half of the participants (48 percent) see various benefits such as fruit baskets or the like as an important component of satisfaction.

These qualities embody the age groups

But of course not everything is bad. But on the contrary. It is usually a plus point when teams are well mixed in terms of age. This fertilizes the colleagues and everyone can learn from the qualities of the other. Often new dynamics and ideas arise. The younger shows the older z. B. the handling of new technologies, the other way around the boy participates from the long-term work and life experience.

Various properties were also asked about in the study. So who can do what best?

qualityWho is most likely to embody this?
Work ethicQuiet generation 33 percent
ExpertiseBaby boomers 33 percent
leadership qualitiesGeneration X 36 percent
TroubleshootingGeneration X 31 percent
empathyGeneration X 24 percent
friendlinessGeneration X 24 percent
innovationMillennials 25 percent
creativityMillennials 26 percent

That's what the bosses say

During the survey, 284 managers provided insights into the management levels. The Generation X age group is clearly ahead here - 43 percent are represented in this group. A quarter consists of baby boomers and just 3 percent from the silent generation. This means that the majority of managers are over 39 years old (71 percent).

Here, a quarter said that they are not very confident about the leadership of the two young generations. Training and further education could be of help here, but there is still room for improvement. Only a fifth have so far been able to continue their education in “generational inclusion”. Around 41 percent of all respondents think that this is a topic that affects all employees across all generations and should not only be discussed at management levels.

Despite all possible difficulties, harmonious and productive cooperation is not impossible. What is important here is appreciation for everyone, the promotion of mutual understanding and communication with one another.

The detailed results of the study are available here.

The trained media specialist was loyal to the print industry for many years. After the daily newspaper and magazine, the change to the digital side followed. In addition to social media work, she works as a freelance editor for a wide variety of areas.