Manager toolkit

Who do you think you’re talking to?

Changing the way you engage to suit different generations

The idea that different generations have different characteristics is known as generational cohort theory. You can use this information to tailor your communications and support to be more appealing for young people.

Baby Boomers

1946 - 1964

Generation X

1965 - 1979

Generation Y

1980 - 1994

Generation Z

1995 - 2010

16-24 year olds fall into the Generation Y and Generation Z cohorts.

Generation Y


I am ambitious with high career expectations
I need frequent feedback and recognition
Flexibility is key and a work/life balance is essential
I will change jobs if my needs are not met
I want a sense of community in the workplace
I rely heavily on feedback for my development
I need a sense of purpose to contribute to the greater good

Generation Z


I need a sense of purpose to contribute to the greater good
I’m keen to try new ways of doing things
I expect to keep in touch, connectivity and communication is really important to me and I expect to be kept informed
I keep up with technology and leave other generations behind
Personal freedom is a priority for me
Transparency, self reliance and flexibility mean a great deal to me