Are the Differences Age Related or Generational?

Almost a third of talent acquisition managers, according to a survey by, say they avoid hiring Gen Z employees because they ask for too much money, are not loyal, stress over a 40-hour work week, insist on working remotely, and quit for not good reason.

History reports that older generations have a penchant for criticizing younger generations.  Philosopher Aristotle, in the 4th century BC wrote, “Young people are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life. . . .They think they know everything and are always quite sure about it.”

Heck, when Rome was burning in 64 AD, Nero and his council probably complained about the irresponsible young Romans spending too much time racing their chariots.

Of course, interests (and maybe conscientiousness) of younger and older employees differ, but does that mean the younger generation is less resolute than their grandparents were at the same age?  I doubt it.

Rather than twisting employee manuals into knots trying to accommodate nuisance differences among age groupings, it would be better to focus on what all generations—young and old—seek in their work cultures: full appreciation, respect, growth opportunities, meaningful work, clear expectations, effective leadership, transparent communication, collaborative peers, fair reward structures, and the opportunity to do what they do best. 

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