WLF We Are The Proud Supporter of Women LIteracy Foundation
About | Get Social   
Send us an email
(M-F 10AM to 6PM CST)


What Millennials Can Learn FromGen X Workers In The Office

Historically, workforces have never been so generationally diverse. Millennials today make up a crucial part of the overall workforce internationally.

They operate in varying capacities alongside co-workers from other generations and are involved in all sorts of industries from development to commerce to research. Some studies and statistics even suggest that millennials are likely going to dominate most of the international work force in the near future.


When co-workers communicate and learn from each other, productivity is enhanced. Some of the benefits of open and appropriate communication between generations at the workplace include:

  • Increased efficiency in team projects.
  • Sharing of ideas and skills.
  • Increased empathy and understanding which leads to reduced conflict.
  • Developing a rapport with team members to boost effectiveness.
  • What is there to learn?

    Different generations come with their respective strengths and weaknesses with regard to work ethic. Millennials are no different. Whiletoday, a lot of stress is placed on what the old can learn from the young, we feel this is a two-way street.

    The young can learn as much from co-workers belonging to generations preceding them. We’re going to focus on what millennials can learn from their predecessors the Generation X with regard to work ethic.

    Managerial Skills

    While millennials can bask in being spontaneous and tech savvy, let’s face it; as a norm, they fall short when it comes to organization and management.

    When managing a team, organization or even yourself, the old Millennials “go with the flow” attitude does not always cut it. Generation Xers, on the other hand, are painfully organized, yet herein lies their strength. Personal organization and a degree of rigidity allow this generation to excel at managerial tasks. They can head teams, supervise projects and get things done! Something young professional millennials might benefit from!

    Work is Work

    It is always good to question and challenge. It is also good to draw boundaries when it comes to what you will and will not do.

    That being said, too much questioning and denying of work could put your work position at risk.

    Millennials can be very picky about what they will or will not do. In many cases, they question and challenge instructions which though sometimes useful can also often be wasteful with regards to time and energy. Generation Xers are very particular about doing what their superiors tell them.

    They question less, they follow instruction and once again, they get it done! Though a curious and questioning attitude is all very well, something to learn from the Xers here is that at times, it makes sense to just do what you’re told when in a work environment!

    Perfectionism and Deadlines

    Generation Xers know how to meet deadlines. A trick here is to forgo the perfectionism, something many Millennials still fail to do. The upshot here is to work on perfecting whatever it is you are doing but not at the cost of an official deadline! An art the Gen-Xers seem to have mastered!

    Adaptability and Teamwork

    Many millennials tend to be into running one man shows. They find it hard to coordinate and operate effectively when working with a team. This is often due to the notion that they are who they are and have their own way of doing things.

    Individuality is encouraged and working conductively with others does not take away from it! Gen Xers are well away from this and can strategically operate within a team to see a task through. Here millennials sometimes falter and could benefit by learning a thing or two from their more senior counterparts.


    As you can see there are a number of things that millennials can learn from Gen X employees in the way of work ethic. That being said, the same is true the other way around. Please note; individuals are individuals and this article is written building on statistic based generalizations. Individuals do not necessarily possess and go by the traits that define their respective generations. If you have a multi-generational office and require human resource consulting services, we would love to help!

    Check out our services or get in touch for guidance and support! Remember; old or young, were always learning!

    Develop for Results International is a boutique Employee Relations consultants and Human Resources Advisory firm dedicated to providing resolution to all manner of employee problems in the workplace, specializing in handling conflicts so managers can focus on core tasks.