There is a lot of focus in the news lately about the makeup of today’s workforce, and the confluence of four generations: the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y or what’s commonly known as the Millennial generation. With a workforce that’s comprised of 30% Baby Boomers, 34% Gen Xers, and 35% Millennials, SGM has seen the challenges of intergenerational differences, and continues to grow by embracing the unique outlooks and diversity each brings to the company.
SGM was founded in 1986 by two Baby Boomers, Dean Gordon and Louis Meyer, and still benefits from their 30-year dedication to the company, which is characteristic of that generation. Other values common to Boomers that SGM was founded on include a strong work ethic, loyalty to employees and clients, and a focus on relationships and community involvement. Looking back through SGM Human Resources archives, staff was seeking guidance in the early 2000’s about how to integrate the generational differences of Gen X: a focus on work-life balance, personal growth, and a growing reliance on technology to be more productive. Fast-forward 15 years and you’ll see the influence of the digitally immersed, multi-tasking, team-oriented, flexible, and ambitious Millennial generation.
We joke around the office about the differences: a reliance on physical manuals and books vs. digital documentation, conventional desks vs. stand-up workstations, in-person meetings vs. texts to clients, how we want to structure our work week. The fun certainly comes in watching senior staff curse at their “smart” phones while younger employees incredulously ask, “Who still listens to CDs?!”
But rather than focusing on differences, what we actually see around SGM is a layering of strengths from each generation. We find we are a more nimble organization that is able to meet the diverse needs of clients because of our generational diversity. The ability to draw strength from the past, challenge norms, and push the boundaries of how we provide exceptional engineering and surveying service will continue to be influenced by the generational continuum. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.