Generational mindset differences and similarities to get teams talking

Is your workplace noticing the term 'Snowflake'? Is the perception that young team members are overly sensitive

Over the last few years – in my work as an organisational psychologist – I’ve been aware of an ever-changing dynamic within teams.

What started as a subtle shift in workplace team dynamics is becoming a much larger issue.

For example, the differences in generational beliefs and attitudes have increased team conflict which has arisen in part from a difference in work expectations and communication issues


Where some team members are expecting a high level of company commitment and a ‘nose to the grindstone‘ attitude. Other team members are aware of the transience of jobs and therefore don’t have the same expectations from their job roles. Their attitude is one of ‘the job isn’t everything’ which is in direct contrast to the belief from others that ‘success comes from hard work’ and the damaging belief that pushing oneself hard – almost to the edge of burnout is what success looks and feels like!


How are these beliefs helpful?

Beliefs that damage intrapersonal team dynamics and erode the psychological safety of the organisation start as simple throw-away comments and morph into a belief system that without awareness and discussion will increase the generational differences even further.

In addition to differing attitudes to work, I have also noticed that comments on the perception that generations have for each other.

A playful comment around the coffee machine has an underlining harmful impact of affecting work relationships.

Phrases like ‘snowflake’ meaning that ‘young people are overly sensitive’ damages team morale, where team members feel that they are not recognised or valued for the work that they do.

Equally other beliefs aimed at the older generation of ‘holding on to power within companies’ without sharing knowledge or workload Is equally damaging to team relationships. A strict hierarchical organisational structure means that Millennials can see no way forward in their professional lives and without any investment will simply leave the business and find personal and professional development in other organisations or simply other professions.

💡 INDUSTRY INSIGHT 💡

According to a Gallup report on the millennial generation, 21% of millennials surveyed report changing jobs within the past year – more than three times the rate of other generations

Gallup Feb 2023

Is this something you have noticed? Have you heard of these phrases – have you heard colleagues or team members agree with these phrases?

When these messages drip, drip, drip into the work culture my work has shown that it has a dramatic effect on team communication and affects team morale and feelings of resentment within teams.

The solution is in emphasising Team Similarities

Interestingly I’ve also noted that there are some similarities in the generational groups and not all generations adhere to their own generational numerical grouping.

For instance, a ‘boomer’ may not identify with the generational attitudes and beliefs that prevail within that age group, conversely, Millennials struggle with the identification as ‘snowflakes’ and feel the injustice of this comment because they feel that their work ethic and they are able to bounce back however their struggles different from previous generations and are simply not being recognised by Boomers or Gen Xs at the top of the organisation.

Look out for…..

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing some videos on LinkedIn on this topic in more detail and I’d love to get your thoughts within your own organisation regarding this – let me know if this topic interests you I’d be interested to know.

Gallup report on the millennial generation, 21% of millennials surveyed report changing jobs within the past year – more than three times the rate of other generations

(Gallup Feb 2023)

I’ve noticed a new angle emerging in these conversations and as part of my research, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on these issues and others. 

In particular, I’ve been noticing a difference in 3 main areas including:

  • Shift in Power dynamics as the powerplay between the generations is impacting team morale and frustrating younger generations who are looking for recognition in their work, not simply a financial pay packet!
  • Communication styles are very different between the generations. This impacts daily conversations in the workplace and causes confusion and misinterpretation of intention, causing greater frustration and resulting in Millenials simply leaving their role and industry.
  • Work Ethic issues, there is a perception that younger team members are finding working life too hard, and simply leaving. In contrast, older team members are pushing the ‘work ethic’ principle which then leads to burnout and long-term sick or repeated holiday sickness or even retiring and then becoming sick or worse!

This is why I’ve created my impactful and successful signature talk which provides generational awareness and education about where these problems have arisen

As well as the solutions to close the generational mindset gap and decrease workplace presenteeism, and increase positivity and harmony which will mean longevity for the business.

In my talk, I provide insights on:

➡️ The differences between all generations in the workplace and the problems that this is creating in your organisation.

➡️ Explore the impact these differences have in the workplace and how we switch these to your advantage.

➡️ Introduce 5 myths that currently exist in areas such as generational work ethic, use of workplace power and generational communication differences and the potential damage these myths are causing.

➡️ Bust the myths giving a deeper more analytical view of what is really happening!

➡️ Provide solutions in the 5 key areas that leaders and employees can embrace within all organisations to achieve psychological safety and candour because the best way for the team to win is when everybody gives their opinion and be ready to debate.

This signature talk is part of a wider offering including programmes that dive into the nub of the issues with practical techniques for workplace transformation.

If you are experiencing these challenges within your organisation currently (or know someone that does) I’d love to chat with you about how I can support you.

Book a call here or hit reply and let’s talk!

This signature talk is part of a wider offering including programmes that dive into the nub of the issues with practical techniques for workplace transformation.

If you are experiencing these challenges within your organisation currently (or know someone that does) I’d love to chat with you about how I can support you.

Next steps

To support organisations that are experiencing these generational challenges within your organisation currently (or know someone that does) I’d love to chat with you about how I can support you and create a resilient workforce that can bounce back and learn from these difficult conversations.

Training and facilitations that include a personalised approach and facilitated group coaching sessions that develop personal and professional growth for employees will create a strong proactive, response to generational conflict

Adele Stickland
International Author + Accredited Resilience Trainer + Accredited ICF Coach
Adele Stickland
International Author + Accredited Resilience Trainer + Accredited ICF Coach
Blog | Whitepaper | LinkedIn | Work together in Q2 2023

In terms of the types of generational conflict training programmes I can offer these include:

  • Leadership coaching for your leadership teams to avoid conflict
  • Resilience Programmes so that employees and teams bounce back from difficult work periods and improve communication between teams.
  • Live or virtual training with follow-up group coaching sessions to embed training and encourage behavioural change.
  • E-learning courses for your LMS system.

If you are interested in supporting your team’s resilience with bespoke Generational Awareness & Education and the solutions to close the generational mindset gap

Then reach out so and book a quick call so that we can identify the needs of your team and what will work for them and your business.

Book a call here or hit reply and let’s talk!

Book a chat to discuss your plans

If your organisation is looking to incorporate Generational Awareness & Education and the solutions to close the generational mindset gap please email me to discuss your organisational requirements or book an appointment straight in my diary

Leadership Coaching & Support:

Burnout is a real issue when leaders try to cope with and are everything to everyone. The strain can be too much if leaders feel that their role is the crucial pin holding the team and the organisation together.

If as a team leader, you feel overwhelmed, a one-to-one professional coaching session will help give you the time out, perspective and clarity you need so that you can operate at a level your team needs.

Book an introductory session with me. As a professionally accredited ICF coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders so that they reach their optimum levels of performance.

What others have to say about Resilience Training

Book a quick 30-minute session to find out how it works.

Micromanaging is not sustainable for managers. If you’d like to read more this article will help The 6 leadership skills that are essential for hybrid working

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Adele Stickland

Business Psychologist & ICF Accredited Coach | Expert in Team Dynamics & Communication Working with organisations to improve team dynamics and psychological safety by creating collaborative & productive teams. An MSc in organisational psychology and awards in education and training enable me to combine evidence-based approaches & tools to support individuals and groups in professional & personal development #Highperformanceteams #Millennialworkforce #Leadershipdevelopment #Employeeretentionstrategies #Millennialjobhopping #Managingmillennials #Teamengagement #Workforcemobility #Professionalgrowthandmentoring #Organisationalculturemillennials

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Transformative Leadership Coaching for managers is a comprehensive coaching program designed to address the challenges faced by leaders in today’s dynamic business environment. This program empowers managers to enhance team dynamics and communication, master the art of effective delegation, and foster a culture of recognition and accountability. By focusing on developing soft skills, empathy, and adaptability, it equips leaders to navigate the complexities of modern management, bridge generational gaps, and lead with vision and purpose. Tailored to meet the unique needs of each organization, this innovative approach ensures leaders are prepared to inspire, motivate, and drive their teams toward shared success, laying the groundwork for a future where leadership is synonymous with resilience, inclusivity, and transformative impact.