Meet the Fifth Generation: The Global Generation
There are currently four generations in the workforce: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Ys. Many people have asked us what the next generation is called. n-gen has termed the fifth generation “the Global Generation” or “the Globes.” This represents those who were born after 2001.
While it is too soon to be able to definitively state how this generation will behave in the workplace, it is interesting to identify and speculate on the factors that are bound to shape the Globes during their coming of age period (defined as the first 16 years of a person’s life). While the Global Generation is still being formed as a cohort, life-defining events, technology, education and the parenting styles of today will impact this generation’s values, behaviours and expectations of tomorrow.
Factors Shaping the Global Generation
For members of the Global Generation, the factors that shape them are no longer localised to their cities, regions or even countries. Their values, behaviours and expectations are shaped by factors that take place all over the globe. In a world in which everything is interconnected, this generation will have a much more global point of view than previous generations.
We predict that the factors shaping the Global Generation include:
- The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
- North African and Middle Eastern Uprisings
- North American and European Democracy Protests
- The Real Estate Meltdown
- The Global Financial Crisis
- Mobile Technology, Social Networks & the Internet
How Parent Styles & the Education System will Shape the Globes
The parents of the Global Generation are predominantly Gen Xers (as well as some older Gen Ys and younger Baby Boomers.) While parents of the Globes often continue to mirror the “helicopter” parenting style of Baby Boomers, they are also demonstrating increasing strictness and control over their children’s lives. This is in opposition to the Baby Boomer style which was more free-spirited.
Many Gen Xers have traces of a more traditional parenting style. They worry about raising children who are too materialistic, not well-mannered enough and who are not prepared for the “real world.” Gen Xers have a fierce sense of independence, including financial independence. Therefore, they are raising their children with a greater sense of fiscal responsibility.
In terms of schooling, the current school system is dedicated to raising the self-esteem of students. However, there is starting to be discussion among educators about whether or not some of the social promotion practices are in the best interest of students. It may be the case that the Global Generation will experience a shift within the school system. If this shift occurs, then there will be a change in expectations by the Globes as to what is acceptable behaviour as it relates to responsibilities at school and work.
As president and co-founder of n-gen People Performance Inc., Giselle is dedicated to building strategies and programs that target, motivate and engage a multigenerational workforce. She is a sought after resource to industry leaders, having worked with 18 of the top Fortune 500 companies. Over 60,000 people globally have experienced an n-gen workshop or presentation. She has devoted more than fifteen years to researching the impact that generational differences have on organizational performance. Giselle has co-authored two books: Loyalty Unplugged: How to Get, Keep & Grow All Four Generations and Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills. She has a Master’s degree in communication studies from the University of Windsor.