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Every individual belongs to one of the four generations. A generation here can be described not by period or age but rather by possessing living experiences and various attributes and traits common to its members. Typically, it is challenging to distinguish a cohort effect from a generational effect when describing generations and outlining their distinct traits. Familiarizing oneself with generational differences is essential to uphold active and fulfilling associations at work and other undertakings.
In the nursing environment, it is common for young practitioners to be full of vigor and aspirations, and disregarding the past is something typical. Furthermore, it is normal for them to view their elders as unmotivated and weak. To ensure a conducive environment in the healthcare setting, there is a need to explore generational diversity in the nursing population, including such generations as Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Therefore, the following essay analyzes the four generations in detail, provides an overview of my generation and analyzes one generation to which I do not belong.
Overview of Four Generations
As mentioned above, there exist four known generations in any workforce, including the healthcare sector. The generations are described by key life events and demographics that modify, to some extent, distinctive generational traits. Principal historical events have designed the society since the 1920s and influenced individuals by modifying their behavior, values, habits, expectations, perceptions of authority, and leadership perceptions. The criteria of belonging to one generation include timeframes and similar personal traits.
The generation is also known as the Veterans, the Silent Generation, or the Greatest Generation. In as much as there exist variations in the name of the period, there also are differences in the precise dates for this cohort. The Silent Generation members were born anywhere between 1900 and 1945. In the contemporary world, such individuals in the workforce, including nursing field, are retired or approach retirement age, but some also continue working due to the fiscal climate and personal choice. While the generation accounts for the smallest percentage of the current workforce, its members are nonetheless still valuable and typically occupy most uppermost management positions.
Traditionalists appear to be flexible, adaptive, and thrifty due to their experience during harsh fiscal periods of the Great Depression where nonworking wives tended to care for the family while the husbands toiled at work. The Silent Generation members are disciplined and they possess high occupational values. Another characteristic observed is that they prefer impartiality and chain of command and seem to be extremely devoted to their workplace. Traditionalists have worked at one or several establishments in their careers and paved the way for the Baby Boomer generation.
Baby Boomers represent the largest generation. They entail a large cohort born during the favorable period after the World War II when the veterans went back to their families. Boomers constitute around 45% of the workforce. They might have been conceived between the years 1943 and 1964. Baby Boomers, like their predecessors, maintain good occupational ethics and possess some traits of Traditionalists. The generation is defined as being hardworking, ambitious, and devoted to their occupations. Boomers created the double career household commonplace.
Numerous changes were experienced between the years 1950 and 1970. Though many events took place during the era of Traditional Generation, Boomers were raised having an ability to observe changes occurring on television. Such variations have compelled them to be extremely receptive to growth and change. Among the events that impacted Boomers are the feminist movement, the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movements. Unlike the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers have a mutual distrust in authorities and abhor regulations that were created to meet the purpose of just having decrees. In the nursing and other fields, Boomers work hard since they believe that they have to. Therefore, they are motivated to challenge the status quo. Due to their highly competitive nature, Boomers are viewed as being egocentric or micro-managers.
The generation is also referred to as Xers, the X Generation or the Baby Bust generation. Like other age groups, Generation X personnel acquired their traits from their parents. The generation includes a group conceived anywhere between the years 1961 and 1981, constituting around 42% of the workforce. For Generation X, the focus is on striving to achieve balance in their occupations and family affairs. Generation X members, like their parents, challenge authority and are extremely competitive. Additionally, they have more job and organizational mobility than previous generations. Nonetheless, Xers appreciate change and are flexible. Loyalty is not common to them and, therefore, they have to possess a range of abilities to facilitate their marketability. Xers find no worth in wasting time on non-useful stuff and they are skeptical. Thus, it is not strange to see that the Xers put parenting, autonomy, and learning above occupation.
The generation is further known as Nexters or the Generation Y. It represents the first generation that was born after 1980 and has grown up during the fast growth of the Internet and an upsurge in terrorism all over the world. Nexters want to steer change while increasing their likeness for variety and inclusion. Millennials represent the most learned generation of personnel currently due to the significant technological developments and achievements in educational programming.
Overview of my Generation
I belong to Nexters or the Millennial Generation, whose members have recently started to enter their occupations. Until recently, Millennials have had the lowest unemployment rates. Nonetheless, Nexters are flooding the labor market that is extremely competitive, with an augmenting percentage of individuals possessing post-secondary degrees. Though Millennials are typically new to the working environment, experts view them as extremely mobile and expect significant change and a wider range of their functional tasks. Furthermore, the generation is impatient given its rate of growth. Several factors make me believe I belong to this group. Among the factors is that I have experienced technology at its peak and I live in the world of the Internet. Moreover, I am a civic-minded and a multi-tasker. It is during my lifetime that events like the September 11 attacks took place and also the existence of public activism.
Overview of a Different Generation: Generation X
According to Becton, Walker, and Jones-Farmer, Millennials have higher employment rates that Generation Xers do and further toiled fewer periods in their longest held occupation. However, there are some essential traits that Millennials can learn from Xers. For instance, Millennials can learn management by objective, self-reliance, and flexibility. They can also learn to value balance and have the capability to create opportunities from Xers. On the other hand, Xers can learn entrepreneurial and global diversity, use technology more effectively, and value fun. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that nurses from different generations work together to transmit knowledge and practices and improve the performance.
Generations are defined by various attributes that may entail time, period, age, similar living experiences, and common characteristics, among others. The main generations are Traditionalists, Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. In the workforce, including the nursing field, Traditionalists are characterized by discipline and strong work ethics. Furthermore, they are adaptive and thrifty. Baby Boomers are characterized by strong working ethics with some similar traditionalists' traits. However, they possess a mutual distrust in authority. Generation X members, like their predecessors, challenge authority and are competitive. Finally, Millennials represent the most educated generation of the four. All generations can learn positive traits from one another, which is essential for growth and development.