New Report: The Great Generational Shift in Workplace Leadership

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Hudson launches landmark generational study based on survey of 28,000 professionals worldwide

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Members of Generation Y are gaining positions of seniority and are bringing a new management style with them.

Hudson, a leading provider of specialized recruitment, talent management and RPO solutions in the Americas and around the globe, today released The Great Generational Shift, a landmark report looking at the changing nature of leadership and offering ways to address multi-generational challenges. The study is based on an assessment of more than 28,000 professionals across the globe.

The release of The Great Generational Shift report coincides with dramatic changes taking place within companies, driven by the simultaneous employment of multiple generations of workers. With Generation Z now starting to enter the workforce and Baby Boomers beginning to retire, this Hudson study draws attention to the importance of taking a new look at leadership styles and workplace dynamics.

Lori Hock, Hudson Americas CEO, said, “Generation Y is no longer the baby, Generation X is no longer the middle child and Boomers are no longer the parent. Everyone is moving up a step, and business leaders must begin to address the looming leadership implications of this shift.”

Hudson’s research provides data on the personality traits that drive Generation Y, Generation X and the Baby Boomers. By understanding their corresponding traits, managers will gain a clearer idea as to how the nature of leadership is changing and be better able to comprehend, predict and manage the behavior of people in each of the three groups.

“Members of Generation Y are gaining positions of seniority and are bringing a new management style with them,” Ms. Hock said. “Generation Y are masters of abstract and conceptual thinking. They are highly ambitious, socially confident and relational. However, The Great Generational Shift research also shows that they rely less on traditional leadership traits than other generations.”

Conversely, Hudson’s research finds that Baby Boomers have plenty of traditional leadership strengths, being “decisive,” “motivating,” “persuasive” and “strategic.” Baby Boomers are also open-minded and innovative.

Generation X, which is sandwiched between the other two generations, appears socially progressive and an ambitious driver of change. The Gen Xers are stronger on traditional leadership traits than Generation Y, yet are more people-oriented and socially confident than the Baby Boomers.

By comparing the personality traits of the three generations, The Great Generational Shift identifies strategies for thriving – and surviving – in a multi-generational workplace.

Baby Boomers, for instance, will need to embrace change, avoid judgments and adjust their expectations. Generation X members will need to become natural diplomats as they move into (or occupy) senior management positions. Generation Y members, often misunderstood by others, should seek workplaces where they can learn to motivate and persuade.

“More than ever before, it is imperative that organizations understand the profound psychological differences in how the various generations think, act and lead,” said Ms. Hock. “Organizations need to understand what it is that motivates their employees and connect the dots between the motivational drivers of those in different ages and stages. Out-of-the-box thinking, innovation and a focus on strategic risks require a new kind of leader. Organizations should decide whether their leaders of today are the right leaders for tomorrow.”

To download a complimentary copy of “The Generational Shift” report, click here.

The Generations at a Glance

Baby Boomers:

  • Strong on traditional leadership traits – “leading,” “decisive,” “motivating,” “persuasive” and “strategic”
  • Open-minded and innovative

Generation X

  • Socially progressive, change-oriented, confident and culturally sensitive
  • Counter balance to the more dominant characteristics of other generations

Generation Y

  • Masters of abstract and conceptual thinking
  • Meticulous, highly ambitious, socially confident and relational
  • Severely lacking in “traditional” leadership skills

Source: Hudson, The Great Generational Shift research

About Hudson
Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialized recruitment, contracting solutions, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management, outplacement and eDiscovery. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. With approximately 2,000 people in 20 countries, and relationships with millions of specialized professionals, we bring an unparalleled ability to match talent with opportunities by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients. We combine broad geographic presence, world-class talent solutions and a tailored, consultative approach to help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and outstanding results. More information is available at


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Leah Burdick
Hudson RPO
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