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What are their strengths at work and how do they learn? 4 generations on the agenda

Career builders and after-work slackers, trustworthy but always finding fault with their boss, living in projects instead of working hours. Different generations, different attitudes in the workplace. But how can you recognise their characteristics and, above all, how can you effectively educate different generations? This was also the topic of the presentations at Wednesday's culTUNEration conference.

Generáció konferencia tanulás-

Nowadays, we hear a lot about generations, but where the boundaries are and which are the six generations that live together in society today and influence each other's lives and values, many people don't know. But 4 of them are also interesting from a work perspective - said Klára András András, HR and Communications Director of Egis Group, Andrea Lerf, intergenerational cooperation developer, organisational developer, coach and Andrea Kökényesi-Nagy, trainer and coach in a joint presentation at the culTUNEration conference. Generations were born at the same time, in the same geographical environment, and have the same youthful, cohort experiences, which then lead to values and then to decisions - Klára András explained the definition of generational theory. The six generations living together, the veterans, the baby boomers, the X, Y, Z, the alpha generation - and seventhly, Generation B (although not yet in the labour market), who represent the youngest. As parents and grandparents, the values of veterans have a huge impact on the lives of younger generations - but they have mostly left the labour market.

Who knows what? - or generations in the labour market

Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are already in direct contact with the labour market. They were born after the great world wars, they were told at a young age that countries needed to be repopulated, they are very fond of tradition, but they are also a rebellious generation. They are very traditionalists at work, they like to think of a career as an upward step, their goal is to have a job, preferably a career. But they are the ones who suffered unemployment first because of their size," Klára András said. They held meetings in person rather than by e-mail, but after work they liked the secret club life where they could let off steam. Many of them would like to retire, but unfortunately they can't, it's almost out of their reach. Moreover, if they were to leave at the same time, the job market and social security would collapse," Klára András added.

Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) were the children with keys, who, because their fathers and mothers worked, were given the responsibility at a relatively early age to "go home with the key, heat up lunch, see to your own well-being", said Andrea Lerf, outlining the main characteristic of Generation Xers. They have also taken their independence into the workplace: they love freedom, they like and can work well independently, they are very reliable and don't need to be micromanaged. They are difficult to lead because they are very sceptical of their leaders, who they can cross-examine quite a lot if they are not credible to them," added the expert in developing intergenerational cooperation. It is those who come after them, those born between 1980 and 1995 - Generation Y - who first experienced having a boss with an unpronounceable name from another country. They were the first to encounter the phrase: "there's a job, not a working day"," said Andrea Kökényesi-Nagy, outlining the workplace experiences of the next generation. Generation Y has been brought up in a reverse socialisation, they had Google instead of Révai's big lexicon, which has also fundamentally transformed the way they related to the previous generation. The key concepts of Generation Z are digitalisation and globalisation, said Klára András. "The first globalised generation, so if you meet Generation Z in Japan, America or even Hungary, they eat pretty much the same food, dress very similarly and grow up listening to almost the same music and movies, and they chat in English, with abbreviations that the 'old' people don't understand," the HR director illustrated. This generation hasn't lived a day without digitalisation, using the phone before they've learned to speak. They have an online and an offline personality, preferring to stay in the former, with the disadvantage that they're not so good at face-to-face interactions. This comes out in the workplace too, they are not very good at handling conflict, as in the online world there is a switch off button, while in the offline world the most they can do is stay on the back foot. They are good-natured and very open to intercultural things. No matter what country they are in and who they meet, they can build relationships with anyone, especially in the online space," adds Klára András. Diversity and cooperation is very important within generations and between generations, because it brings very forward-looking results," concluded Andrea Kökényesi-Nagy, describing the age groups.

How do different generations learn?

Why it is important to know the generations is shown, for example, in terms of training. Generations have a common experience of learning, so a 68-page PPT called e-learning will be received differently by a baby boomer colleague and differently by a Generation Z or Alpha generation, said Andrea Kökényesi-Nagy. It makes a difference how a generation is socialised in a school system of 12-18-20 years. What they have learned about learning, what tools they encounter, influences what a worker considers learning in the workplace. Learning is a strategy for seeking, processing and retrieving information," explains Gergely Koltányi, head of education at Nitrolearning Zrt.

A US study has found that the baby boomer generation was taught in a linear way from the beginning to the end of the curriculum. The processing of information is therefore characterised by linearity and structure. They find it difficult, for example, to cobble together information from the corporate intranet.

Generation X, on the other hand, started learning in a modular system, they are used to learning in units with a beginning and an end, but they can be stacked and modules can be left out if they are not needed. Generation Y is characterised by the constructivist learning method: people construct the learning process themselves, with the teacher acting as a kind of mentor. The result is that there are as many learners as there are solutions. Of course, country specificities have to be taken into account when looking at such a study, but it does illustrate the differences in learning and thinking between generations.The pattern of thinking is more important for learning than the tools and conditions," he added. For members of Generation X, learning is a serious intellectual task that they "sweat", starting at the beginning and finishing at the end," said Andrea Kökényesi-Nagy, outlining the learning method of people born before 1980. The curriculum is acquired through frontal lectures, theory is very important, which has to be complemented with practice, they can make good presentations and summaries. She also prints out her work and gives it to the boss to see how she has worked.

For Generation Y, learning is breathing space, they don't like to read a lot of text, this generation of worker is just looking for the gist. I'd rather watch a 2.5-minute TikTok video than a 40-page text, "skimming" and searching is their method," Parrish said, sensing the differences

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