HR trends: how to use theory of generations

What difference does a generation mean for an HR-specialist? We constantly see confrontation and conflicts between people of different ages, believes Anna Sehedina, HR-specialist with 10 years of experience, and HR Director of multiple chain restaurants. After all, if generations are able to understand the value of each other, this difference may open new opportunities to work effectively not only in HR, but for business development in general. To learn how to better understand the generation of «Y» and use the difference to develop new ideas she told lectures on the «HR generations theory».

Anna Segedina

Here are some highlights from Anna Sehedina:

«The theory of generations was developed in 1991 by American scientists, demographer Neil Howe and historian William Strauss. It emerged from the intersection of economics, demography and history. The basis of the theory is that the values of different generations are influenced by various external factors.

Often we hear things like «these young people do not want to work» or «these young people did not know what they want.» The new generation, Generation «Y,» has formed such stereotypical views of generations «X» and even representatives of older generations. In reality, its not true. Generation «Y» professes its values, which differ from the values of «X’s». Some of these values include a healthy lifestyle, the availability of technology, the mobile Internet, and the world of brands.

The slogan of generation «X» includes the phrase «All our life we fight!» Instead, «Y» is quite different: «It doesn’t matter how much I’m worth, only what I need matters

In fact, the «Ys» do not work, but instead they collected a lot of «likes». Therefore, without being positively assessed, the work gives them a feeling of failure and their own non-existence. Leaders who come out and don’t appreciate the «Ys» lose opportunities and leave them subject to dislike amongst the «Y» generation. The head that made that which is right note – burned 5 «likes» and the one who was unfair – burned 15 «likes.» Less «likes» is a result of a bad job. «Ys» then think, they should move on and find work elsewhere.

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Y is a generation that does not understand that there was once life without the Internet. Internet is their way of life.

«Y» often say and think: «Everyone lives as he wants.» They continue to perceive the world as a set of pictures. But not because they can not, but simply do not want to read the text. Their world is a collection of drawings, diagrams and multi media presentations. Forcing them to write papers is a terrible burden.

People of the generation «Y» can not eat an elephant until you cut it into pieces. Small orders with a clear objective this is what they need.

Common mistakes made by Managers of the Generation «X»:

  • «Step left, step right – shoot.» Strict discipline and penalties are not what the «Ys» want nor are they ready to accept.
  • «It will sit – I said!» They do not accept authoritarian management style.
  • Long letters at long boring meetings. This style of communication is just not for the new generation.

Generation differences is a perennial problem and always will be so. But their generation, has a lot to add and we have to remember that!

Read more: How working in HR differs than being a Psychologist

Do not look for confrontation in generations. It is necessary to analyze and look for the point of intersection where collaboration will be most effective.

HR analysts are now in very high demand. Now being without HR analytics, you don’t come across that often, everyone wants HR analysts. It provides the basis for making the right decisions. Learn the dynamics of various generations, understand them and watch how much they will be able to help you at work!


Anna Sehedina – HR Director of chain restaurants «SALAD» (Mario Pizza, sushi bars Turtle, BBQ PUB Pleasantville). She has practical experience in HR and HR-building systems in various companies for over 10 years. She join the network «SALAD» in 2011, and is part of the directors involved in the construction strategy.

She graduated from Zhytomyr State Technological University, with a specialty in «Personnel Management and Labor Economics». In the years 2012-13 she studied at the School HRMMBA Anna Vlasova.

She launched training courses for HR-managers in Zhytomyr and participated in the creation of the first HR-Club in Zhytomyr. She is constantly working with young people from universities and professional colleges in Zhytomyr and Rivne, and launched «Business school for students» a program for free training fundamentals of marketing, finance and human resource management.