Five Generations Converge in the Workforce

By guest author Michael Dell, CEO and Chairman of Dell Technologies

Michael Dell

With the holiday season upon us, families gather together to celebrate with their youngest and oldest members and everyone in between. It can be stressful, but it can also be wonderful.

This type of multi-generational coming together is not limited to the home, however. Generation Z, those born in 2001 and beyond, is now heading into the workforce in meaningful numbers and for the first time in modern history five generations will be working side-by-side.

Rather than this adding stress on today’s businesses, Dell Technologies commissioned research shows it can bring them opportunity. The 12000 Generation Z respondents our researchers spoke with around the globe will revolutionize the workplace, but they will not displace the older generations already there.

Not surprisingly, these young people are confident about their tech skills and they will expect cutting-edge technology to be available for them in their future careers. Gen Z’s entry into the workplace will fuel a fresh round of innovation – 68 % of our research respondents said they already know how to code. And, they are willing to be technology mentors to others on the job.

But, they are less confident in the non-tech skills they need to be ready for the workforce and they will be looking to mature colleagues for guidance and coaching in business. Rather than shutting themselves away behind technology, they are eager for human interaction. They expect to learn on the job from other people – not online.

This creates tremendous opportunity for these five generations to work collaboratively and move their businesses forward in the digital age. Rather than fear that younger workers will take their jobs, experienced workers need to mentor them and build on each other’s complementary skills and reap the rewards.

Gen Z does want more than just money in return for their work, however. Much like myself, many of them aspire to build their careers on technology to advance human progress. They are ready to harness tech to help other people and our environment. They want to work for socially responsible organizations and know that their work has meaning and purpose.

It is a point of view we are all more open to during this season of wishing peace and goodwill to our friends and family, but we should not let it pass when the holidays are over. Looking forward to the coming year with this insight into our new and near-future employees, we all have reason to be optimistic.

My holiday wish for us all is that each generation of workers come together for the collective good in 2019 and beyond.