Bring Your Manners to Work Day: How to Be Relevant Across Generational Cohorts

Guest Blogger - Thursday, September 2, 2021
Blog_Bring Your Manners To Work Day 2021

Author: Jackie Dudley is the owner of Professional Etiquette and Protocols, and a 2019 graduate of The Protocol School of Washington.

Being relevant is one way to be remembered in the best of ways when working in any type of business environment. It could also mean that people will think of you as a resource who solves a problem or provides a solution that is needed. In our dynamic world of virtual, in-person, and hybrid work environments, it is important to remember how to relate to people. Whether you’re working with people with similar or different backgrounds, life experiences, or values, one key component to effective business interactions is to identify the generation in which your coworkers or clients were born because this can affect their outlook and values.  

Traditionalist: Born before 1945  

Loyal and faithful to organized groups. Belief in top-down management style with information shared on a need-to-know basis. Consumes media through television, radio and print (traditional media). 

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 

Typically, highly competitive and likes to change status quo, with a strong belief that work is deeply tied to identity. Largest consumer of traditional media with growing consumption of online technology. 

Generation X: Born 1965-1980 

Less faithful to established standards with more value on independence and resourcefulness. Digitally savvy and likely part of the “latchkey” way of life as a youth.  

Generation Y or Millennials: Born 1981-1996 

Less brand loyalty. Technology use is a focus and expectations lean toward instant gratification. Diversity is the standard and a large part of the decision-making process. Part of an image-oriented world enhanced by streaming services, social media and mobile devices. 

Generation Z: Born 1997-2012 

Mobile device consumers in a hyper-connected world. They may be fiscally conservative due to learning from the financial struggles of their family members (Gen Xers). Their business is likely conducted using apps, debit cards, and mobile banking. 

More than ever before, take the time to learn about the values of generations of people with whom you work and do business. You will find that by learning and understanding more about one another, the ways in which you present ideas and solutions will become more effective. Be relevant, be professional, and be respectful to all and you will be remembered in the best of ways. 

About the Author:

Jackie Dudley serves as the owner of Professional Etiquette and Protocols. In this role, she facilitates training for corporations, businesses, and individuals in the areas of: business etiquette and protocol, dining etiquette, intercultural and cross-cultural protocols, diversity and inclusion, professional presence, and other etiquette/protocol-related areas requested by her clients. To learn more, please visit:

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