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The Trucking Industry’s Growing Multi-Generational Workforce
Fleet owners are quickly recognizing something interesting in their organizations: They have an employee base that spans four generations.
- Baby Boomers – born between 1944 and 1964 and are currently between the ages of 54-74.
- Generation X – born between 1965 and 1979 and are currently between the ages of 39-53.
- Millennials – born between 1980 and 1994 and are currently between the ages of 24-38.
- Generation Z – born 1995 and after and are currently 23 years old.
While some in the trucking industry would look at this blend of employees as a source of unending challenge, savvy managers are choosing to look at it as a unique opportunity to enhance productivity. After more than 35 years in the trucking industry, we know that managers who create a respectful and open-minded environment will likely experience a happier, more vibrant workplace. And, you can also expect to see a stronger bottom line.
What Does This Mean For Fleet Owners
Each new generation that enters the workforce has different attitudes and perspectives concerning work. The willingness to work under a variety of circumstances, expectations of the workplace, and management style preferences also differ by generation. Each of these four generations were, and still are, influenced by societal and world events that occurred while they were growing up.
A Look At Each Generation
Baby boomers are typically characterized as having strong work ethics and who aren’t afraid to put in a hard day’s work. They want to be respected and they expect people in their workplace to be professional, accountable and responsible. Just like them.
Generation X’ers are independent, resourceful, and self-sufficient. They value freedom and responsibility in the workplace and don’t like overt authority and structured work hours. They don’t enjoy being micromanaged and want to be left alone to do their jobs.
Millennials, on the other hand, are quite different from their Generation X counterparts. They want to be included and asked their opinion. They prefer to have “wiggle room” in their responsibilities and look for ways to have “fun” in their day-to-day work.
Generation Z is interestingly the most globally, socially, visually and technologically savvy of all the generations. They are the most connected, educated, and sophisticated generation thus far.
Understanding the differences in their characteristics, the main influencers in their upbringing, and what they value allows employers to know how to best manage various employee cohorts. Because, at the end of the day, the goal should always be to help your teams — intergenerational or not — work more effectively and harmoniously together.