Attitudes of various generations at the workplace

At present, there are five different generations working at the same time on the labour market side by side. In our days the most influential ones are Generation X,Y and Z. As each of these  generations prepare themselves to play a dominant role in the global economy, there have been numerous studies and researches  written by academics, businesspeople and policymakers on what motivates and demotivates these generations at work, what working styles characterize them and what leadership patterns are to be expected from their members.

The article entitled  “Building leaders for the next decade (How to support the workplace goals of GenX, Gen Y and GenZ)” authored by Henrik Bresman and Vinika D Rao is part of a a series called Generations – research study (by Universum, INSEAD, HEAD Foundation and MIT) of what generations think about employers and the workplace worldwide. The research results in this series are based on an annual survey of over 18,000 respondents from members of GenX, Y and Z.  The research sheds light on preferred work styles, leadership qualities, hopes and fears about future careers, and the technologies with the highest potential for workplace innovation.

The introductory part of the article analizes the attitudes of various generations picturing in a cloud of words the more typical attributes the generation members claim about themselves and other generations.

Gen Z

Generations X and Y  tend to label Generation Z as “lazy” , however many more labels are there, this is the most outstanding one, and surprisingly it is the label that appears in the focus of their own wordcloud, too of Gen Zers. However,  being curious, eager and ambitious are also key words on each chart. 

Generation Z perception


Similarly, Generation Y also chooses “lazy” as a top descriptor of itself, as well as “motivated” and “ambitious” are mentioned in equal parts. Genration X agrees with these labels on the millenials. However,  the younger generation characterizes millennials as  hardworking, determined and motivated.

Generation Y perception


Generation X is the kindest with itself, using words like “ambitious,” “hardworking” and “driven.” Younger generations, however, use labels like “tired” and “bored” to describe Gen Xers.

Generation X perception