Today’s construction sites are a veritable melting pot of past and present, with people from all walks of life utilizing their unique skills to complete projects. Collaboration is integral to any construction project, but promoting communication between such a diverse set of personalities can be difficult.
Understanding the five generations of construction workers currently lending their services to the construction industry takes patience. At Cotney Construction Law, our Dade County construction attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience working with construction professionals of all ages. In this short guide, we will explore the valuable differences between the five generations of construction workers and how to utilize their strengths on your next project.
Traditionalists are hardworking, resourceful individuals raised during the Great Depression. Growing up in economic decline helped traditionalists foster a sense of loyalty to their employers, who helped their families survive during the Great Depression. Many traditionalists have worked under the same employer for most of their lives. They are capable of producing big results with minimal tools, but they tend to be less interested in technology.
Many of the construction industry’s leaders and foremen are baby boomers. Baby boomers utilize strong leadership traits to increase efficiency and improve the flow of work. Baby boomers are willing to work overtime to finish a project, and they are dedicated to upholding rules and guidelines to keep their team safe. Baby boomers are commonly employed to enforce OSHA compliance and keep everyone safe, occupying roles such as safety officer, construction inspector, and crew leader.
Generation X workers are usually assigned to mid-management construction positions. They are comfortable in supervisory roles and like to mentor others. This generation is relatively tech-savvy, so they are skilled with power tools, computers, and various digital tools like project management software and PDFs.
The presence of millennials on the construction site is divisive. While millennial skills can greatly aid the construction industry, their ideologies often clash with those of the generations that preceded them. Millennials are accustomed to flexible schedules, remote employment, and mobile technology —three things that aren’t very common on construction sites today. They prefer to use sustainable strategies when building, like utilizing renewable energy and reclaimed products, and recycling materials from the job site.
Generation Z employees are also very tech-savvy. They are accustomed to a transformational workforce characterized by freelance economy projects. As a result, they possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to multitask between multiple projects.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.