Gen X Vs. Millennial: Bridging the Generational Gap in the Workplace

Alex Greenwood
9 min readMay 16, 2023

I’ve worked for good bosses, bad bosses, and everything in between, so I’ve become a student of behavior. In a recent role, I was assigned to a supervisor who happened to be a Millennial. It was eye-opening in many ways, as a Generation Xer, to note the differences from the Baby Boomer management style I had been “brought up on” since I entered the white-collar workforce at age 20.

As a Generation Xer, I was brought up in the Boomer management culture — but there are still Gen X-inspired differences in the way I approach the workplace as a manager and employee. I have worked successfully with many Millennial colleagues and with at least a couple of managers and recognize some interesting differences in how the generations approach management.

Among the generations in the workforce today, Millennials and Generation X cohorts bring diverse perspectives, values, and work styles to the table, often leading to fascinating dynamics in the workplace. Recognizing that in today’s modern workforce, we find ourselves in a unique situation where multiple generations coexist and collaborate, I asked a few other Gen Xers about their experiences working with Millennial bosses.

To be blunt, I learned that generations can often butt heads.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Baby Boomers: Still Hanging in There

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the (allegedly) outgoing management generation, Baby Boomers, are often characterized as hardworking and dedicated employees who value loyalty and respect for authority. As managers, they tend to have a more hierarchical and traditional management style. They appreciate clear structures and formal communication channels and may be more directive in their approach, providing specific instructions and expecting adherence to established procedures.

The Baby Boomer generation refers to individuals born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, so their ages range from late 50s to late 70s. The retirement age and the decision to leave the workforce vary among individuals based on personal circumstances, financial considerations, and health conditions. While some Baby Boomers have already retired or are gradually transitioning out of the workforce, many others continue to work…

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Alex Greenwood

PR Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Producer/Host, Editor, and Award-Winning Writer of the John Pilate Mystery Series. Accomplished belly laugher.