Working with multigenerational project teams has taught me that commitment is a common attribute for team members of every generation.
But every team member approaches commitment in a different way. Different generations place different values on pursuing work-life balance.
A strong work ethic is a characteristic of the older members of the project team, part of the silent generation. Members of this generation tend to want to work a reduced number of hours to be able to devote time to personal activities.
Baby boomers, the generation referred to as workaholics, consider work a high priority and greatly value teamwork. In my opinion, they are focused on their achievements and are willing to work long hours to achieve project success.
Generation X is good at controlling their time. This generation has a desire to control and set a career path, personal ambitions and work time.
Generation Y is driven by a strong preference for work-life balance. Many Gen Yers look for jobs that provide them great personal fulfillment.
In my opinion, one of our tasks as project managers is to find ways to shed the stress in our project team members' lives. Part of that is to better understand the work-life balance needs of team members from different generations.
To bring a better work-life balance to any generation, define more accurate project schedules based on flexibility, telecommuting and time off.
Tell us about actions you have adopted to meet project goals and still accommodate team members' work-life balance needs.