Workplace Generations A Model to Identify Employee’s Generation
Workplace Generations is a hot topic because millions of Millennials are pouring into the workplace with a new set of values that are often at odds with conventional thinking. Because of this we took to task figuring out what generation we all fall into. Below is an easy model to quickly determine what generation you likely fall into, and with one easy question you can determine where others fall.
The Jeffersons was a TV show that aired from January 18, 1975, through June 25, 1985. It fits well with generations because of its timing, its long and popular run, its connection to an older show, and its iconic nature in our TV history. It was one of a hand full of shows to choose from in early TV, and its ten year run speaks to its popularity.
Workplace Generations include Baby Boomers who were between 12 and 29 years old when the Jeffersons run began. The Jeffersons 10 year run coincided perfectly with a large percentage of Baby Boomers prime TV watching years. On the other hand, the oldest Generation X person would be 20 years old when The Jeffersons ended, and so most of this Generation watched The Jeffersons in re-runs after school. Gen Xers status as “latch-key” kids allowed for an unsupervised “TV watching period” that began when they got home from school until their parents got home at night.
Workplace Generations also include Millennials. The Jeffersons are iconic for many reasons, etched in the brains of many of us along with shows like Three’s Company, All in the Family, Taxi, Sanford and Son, and others. Therefore many Millennials have heard of The Jeffersons through a reference in a more modern and savvy TV show, for example The Simpsons. Many among them have no doubt “Googled” The Jeffersons to learn what the reference meant.
The Jeffersons also have an interesting link to the last Workplace Generations category, the Traditionalists. The Jeffersons owe their origination to the TV show All in the Family. Archie Bunker, the main character, is a great example of Traditionalist values as expressed through a sitcom. Many of us see parts of our own grandparents in the attitudes and characteristics of Archie Bunker. He had classic generational battles with “Meat Head” who was an excellent example of Baby Boomer values, especially in the early and mid-seventies.
Watch my video series on Improving Teamwork in Business and at the Workplace to see a condensed version of The Jeffersons model you can share with your colleagues.