Video – The clash of generations and the sandwich generation

Length: 3:01


Demographic changes are creating a major challenge for organizations, which now find they must balance the needs of four generations of employees:

  • baby boomers
  • generation X
  • generation Y
  • generation Z

This situation also gives rise to a new reality: the sandwich generation, which we will discuss later.

In such a context, how can employers align everyone’s expectations and promote teamwork?

The various generations have very different values and expectations regarding the job market:

  • baby boomers are known for their hard work and respect for authority
  • generation X seeks work-life balance, without ruling out professional success
  • generation Y wants a pleasant job where it can meet new challenges, learn new things and get instant feedback
  • generation Z represents the future of today’s organizations. It will have similar expectations to generation Y while being even more enterprising, loyal, flexible and realistic

There are a few measures that should be implemented whenever possible to achieve greater organizational synergy:

  • a work-life balance policy
  • flexible schedules
  • unpaid leave
  • four-day weeks
  • etc.

In addition to these benefits, personality tests and communication training are useful tools for balancing needs.

As for the sandwich generation, it is made up of people who need to care for their children as well as for an elderly person, usually one of their parents.

According to Statistics Canada, nearly three parents out of ten aged between 45 and 64 with children under 25 are caring for an elderly person.

Of course, this situation can cause operational constraints at work. Employers can support these employees in various ways: by directing them to an assistance service, allowing flexible hours, giving them access to the Internet and phone, etc.

Each generation brings its own distinct values, attitudes and behaviour to work. Each has its own communication style, expectations and priorities.

Being sensitive to their differences while taking their individual strengths into account is a genuine challenge for management.

However, when these generations are managed properly, organizations can draw out their optimal performance and stand to gain a competitive edge from it.

To find out more about this topic, we suggest you read the reference document.

In case of any questions, doubts or a specific need for support, don’t hesitate to contact the specialized support service offered to the eligible individuals.