Serein

Understanding the Values and Work Ethic of Each Generation in the Present Workplace

Nikita Agnihotri

- August 3, 2020

“We had a big party for my Aunt Meera to celebrate her retirement. A year later she was bored and started looking up glassdoor for opportunities in the fashion e-commerce space”

“When I asked my friend (in her 20’s) if she imagined herself working at the current company for the next 10 years, she very enthusiastically replied: Why not! I have everything I want here”

“Last week Tony’s grandfather registered for an e-learning course on business development.”

A truly inclusive company understands that to achieve generational inclusion in the workplace, one must take time to understand the values of the generational group but also be mindful not to make decisions based on generalizations about each cohort.

A person’s values, behavior, personality, or work ethic are influenced by multiple factors – education, family values, status or circumstance, other personal relationships. Additionally, cultural norms or the political climate of the country also influence the generation.

Additionally, a lot of research has been done on generational diversity through the lens of the west. In India, the political climate (independence, riots, green revolution etc.), have also influenced the values of each generation at that time.  The aim of this article is to explore the research around the values, beliefs, attitudes and work ethics of each generation. However, it is important for a practitioner to be mindful of generational stereotypes. This understanding can be  leveraged for co-existence and a better understanding of the future of work.

Baby Boomers (1945-1964)

Baby Boomers are characterized as being exceptionally loyal to an organization, once a Baby Boomer obtained a good job, they stayed with that organization (Beutell & Wittig-Berman, 2008). Furthermore, the Baby Boomer generation is also characterized by an expectation of compensation and reward because of their loyalty and commitment (Gursoy, Maier & Chi, 2008). Therefore, the Baby Boomer generation possesses a strong belief that hard work and loyalty eventually pay off. 

When compared to Generation X and Millennials, Baby Boomers value recreation and relaxation less while career has taken a larger focus for many in the generation (Chen & Choi, 2008). They are firm believers in face-to-face contact with their employer and are known as the workaholic generation. Boomers often prefer opportunities within the workplace involving personal growth and gratification. 

Generation X (1965-1980)

Next in line is the Generation X which has faced many negative titles and stereotypes because they have not been easily identified. One of the characteristics of Generation X is the ability to be independent and resourceful (Bourne, 2009). After witnessing the assassination of Indira Gandhi and later Rajiv Gandhi, India’s then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao initiated economic liberalization and other social reforms. Gen X saw Indian democracy in trouble but at the same time women started entering the workforce and perspectives related to the caste system were being shadowed through education. However, members belonging to this cohort had doubts regarding sustainability of growth. When working with members of Generation X, keeping in mind the history which has shaped them will aid in a person’s relationship with members of this cohort.  

They are adaptable as they sailed through tremendous changes with regard to technology- the advent inventions such as television, the tape recorders, telephones and the walk-mans. Generation X are characterized as having a great sense of duty and more loyal to the purpose of their work. A significant number of them are past the mid-career phase with children, probably in their late teens or early twenties. Hence, it is likely they would be keen on work flexibility that would help them achieve greater work life balance.

 The Millennials [Gen Y] (1981-1995) 

Millennials grew up in the digital era. Rise in the dot com industry in the later half of 90’s in India presented them with ample employment opportunities. This has been an asset for Millennials, as they have been able to leverage their technology skills in the workplace (Friedman, 2005).  The Gen Y woman is seen no less than her male counterpart in terms of educational attainment and professional capabilities; 42% of university graduates of this generation are women (Dyckerhoff, Wang, & Chen, 2011).

With internet and desktop computers making its way to Indian homes, long distance communication became swift and hassle-free. Their comfort with tech advancement, they also prefer email communication on an almost constant basis (Gravett & Throckmorton, 2007).  Being labelled as open-minded, this curious generation changed consumer markets with rise in their online shopping preferences.

Millennials also saw the rise of social networking sites- Facebook, Twitter to name a couple which made it easy for them to voice their opinions. Hence, for them feeling included would, for a majority proportion, reflect being heard or listened to. However, their lack of experience would require developing cross- generational communication platforms and creating an efficient mentorship model.

Generation Z (1996-2010) 

Last one in the line is Generation Z  which is the most educated and diverse generation to date (Seemiller & Grace, 2019). In this era, the political participation of women attained greater importance with the introduction of a 33% reservation of parliament seats for women bill in 1996 (Rajesh & Ekambaram, 2014). Along with the Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998 and waves of privatization and globalization in Indian markets, this cohort shows hope for a better future. Likewise, in 2008, 34 Indian companies were listed in Forbes Global 2000 ranking (Erickson, 2009).

With an experience of stability in Indian economy and beginning of a start-up culture, this generation places greater emphasis on financial reward as a desired outcome. Having greater accessibility and exposure to western culture, individuals in this group do not believe in hierarchical organizational structures. They respect competencies and knowledge and not so much authority that simply comes with age or position.

The act of multitasking is seen as organic to this generation therefore Generation Z is not content to do repetitive tasks and becomes bored and unmotivated easily (Chillakuri & Mahanandia, 2018).  Since they are growing up in the world of anxieties which makes their view more holistic towards health and physical fitness. Their approach towards how they would want to spend their money will impact consumer markets in the coming future. Managing stress and mental health will become the forefront for their overall wellness regime.

In conclusion, the generational gap can be reduced through deliberate communication and by involving employees across generations in decision making. Indian workplaces will be able to celebrate and encourage diversity in the workplace when it successfully develops a greater awareness of what influencers shape each cohort while avoiding stereotypes and labels.

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Abhishek Ghattamaneni

Head - Financial Strategies

Abhishek is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in finance and corporate governance. With over 15 years of expertise as a qualified Company Secretary, he has made significant contributions to the finance departments of companies within the real estate and startup sectors.
 
Having worked extensively with organisations operating across multiple countries, Abhishek brings a deep understanding of international taxation to the table. Notably, he achieved an impressive 42nd rank in 12th grade under the AP Education Board, demonstrating a strong academic foundation to complement his professional achievements.

Rhea D’Silva

Designer

Rhea is the aesthetic and creative eye behind Serein’s marketing and sales collateral. She manages website content and social media content calendar. She works closely with Serein’s content experts to design catchy invites, toolkits, and company culture reports.

Rhea creates animated content for Serein’s learning platform. She is focused on understanding the user’s need for engagement and learning to create impactful content. 

Rhea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media from St. Xavier’s University, Mumbai where she majored in advertising.

Dr. Ishani Roy

Founder and CEO

Ishani founded Serein to provide a data and research-based approach to solving DEI challenges at the workplace. She advises company leaders, startup founders, and venture capital firms on industry best practices to increase diversity and design a DEI roadmap.

Ishani is a recipient of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award 2023 for the global impact of her work in the DEI space.

Before founding Serein, Ishani was a scientist at GE Research working in the Aerospace Lab. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University on developing mathematical models to solve Astrophysics problems. She did her Post-doctoral studies at the University of Oxford and St. Thomas Hospital in Biomathematics.

Chryslynn D’Costa

Co-founder and CPO |

Chryslynn leads the product development of Serein’s DEI SaaS tool. She designs learning content and strategic insights for companies to measure their DEI growth, and achieve bias-free recruitment and psychological safety.

Chryslynn is a regular columnist with publications like ‘LiveMint’ and ‘The Hindu’ where she writes about unconscious bias, prevention of sexual harassment, and company culture.

Before Serein, she was a Gandhi Fellow working in rural Rajasthan to address educational leadership and gender equity in government schools. She graduated from Azim Premji University in Bangalore with a Master’s in Education where she specialised in gender and sexuality education.

Bianca D’Costa

Head of PoSH: India, Global

Bianca leads the compliance partnerships and workshops on anti-sexual harassment, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws in India, South East Asia, Europe, and the USA. She has 100+ hours of experience consulting on sexual harassment investigations in the workplace.

Bianca designs gamified learning modules for a unique and impactful learner experience on topics like gender inclusion, PwD inclusion, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and regional inclusion among others. 

Before Serein, Bianca worked in hospitality for 5 years with Emirates Airlines. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from St. Xavier’s University, Mumbai. She is presently pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender and Sexuality in Global Politics from SOAS University of London.

Aparna Pandurangan

Head of Operations

Aparna is leading the finance and operations at Serein. She has also been responsible for Serein’s online platform, customer management, and marketing.

She works closely with Serein’s 500+ long-term partners to ensure they are compliant with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) law. Aparna is a workshop facilitator on topics like the prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace in languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

Aparna Pandurangan holds a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Anna University, Chennai. 

Faakirah Irfan

Head of Legal

Faakirah is a legal professional and expert facilitator on topics like anti-sexual harassment, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws in India, South East Asia, Europe, and the USA. Faakirah has conducted 100+ training sessions on the prevention of sexual harassment for employees and internal committee members.

She has 150+ hours of experience consulting on sexual harassment investigations in the workplace. Her legal research at Serein includes policy analysis, human rights, women’s rights, and document drafting.

Faakirah is an experienced legal professional. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in law with a focus on women’s rights and policy analysis from the University of Kashmir. She holds a Master of Law degree specializing in alternative dispute resolution from O.P Jindal School of Law.

Dr. Ruchika Sharma

Guest Consultant: Gender

Ruchika assists with research and facilitation of sessions on domestic violence, sexual harassment, employee well-being, and women’s leadership. She is a feature writer for Serein’s blogs where she writes about gender, women’s history, domestic violence, and sexual harassment awareness in the workplace.

Ruchika is a published author with books like ‘Concubinage, Race and Law in Early Colonial Bengal: Bequeathing Intimacy, Servicing the Empire’ published by Routledge, Taylor, and Francis publications. She has been teaching History at the University of Delhi for over a decade. She has a Ph.D. in History from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Arathi Kannan

Head of DEI: India, Global

Arathi leads the design and execution of DEI measurement tools for global partners. These include Serein’s Diversity Index, the scope of unconscious bias in recruitment and promotions, and the scope of unconscious bias in external messaging. 

She has also designed a standardized tool to review company policies and products through an inclusion lens. Arathi leads workshops on inclusion, unconscious bias, domestic violence, mental health, and well-being. 

Arathi is a published researcher with Master’s degrees in Applied Psychology and Criminology from Bond University, Australia. Her experience includes working with people from different backgrounds, including refugee groups.

Thejaswini CA

LMS Platform Associate

Thejaswini is responsible for the operations and maintenance of Serein’s in-house e-learning platform. She assists customers to deliver learning content and assess employee engagement through Serein’s tracking system. 

Thejaswini is also engaged with finance and other operations to ensure Serein’s 500+ long-term partners are compliant with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) law.

Thejaswini holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Application from Field Marshal KM Cariappa College, Kodagu.

Bhavini Pant

Safety and PoSH expert

Bhavini serves as a PoSH external member for 30+ companies in industries like education, healthcare, IT, Pharma, and more. She has 70+ hours of experience consulting on sexual harassment investigations in the workplace and supporting partner organizations on the legal procedure and best practices for workplace safety.

Before Serein, Bhavini worked as an archivist at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, and as an editorial assistant for IIT Bombay’s PR and Alumni Associations department.

She has a Master’s degree in Education from Azim Premji University where she worked extensively with the management on anti-sexual harassment legal implementation. Her work involved the interpretation of the law in a university as a workplace and an educational institution for adults. 

Siri Prasad

Safety and PoSH Expert

Siri Prasad is a Safety and PoSH Expert at Serein and serves as an External Member of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for Serein’s clients. Her work is not limited to, but includes advising in legal procedures, best practices for safe work cultures, and reviewing of PoSH policies and labor law compliance.

Siri is a Gold Medallist and holds a BBA, LLB (Hons.) from Christ University and a Masters in Science (International Employment Relations) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she also served as the EDI Officer.

Rishab Prasad

DEI Specialist

Rishab is passionate about creating long-term partnerships with Serein’s customers. He is responsible for marketing, operations, customer onboarding, contract writing, and relationship building. Rishab uses his directing and filmmaking skills to design engaging content for Serein’s social media platforms.

Rishab holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with Honours from CHRIST University, Bangalore. He has directed more than nine short films on topics like stigmas of menstruation, widowhood, and adoption.

Kirtika N

Safety and PoSH expert

Kirtika is an expert speaker and workshop facilitator on topics like sexual harassment awareness, bystander intervention, and anti-harassment redressal mechanisms. She has developed learning content for investigating committees on topics like witness cooperation in a workplace sexual harassment inquiry proceeding. 

Kirtika serves as a PoSH external member for 30+ companies in fintech, healthcare, business management, gaming, and more. She has 50+ hours of experience consulting on sexual harassment investigations at the workplace and supporting partner organisations on legal procedure and best practices.

She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Montfort College, Bengaluru, and has experience working as a trainee counselor.

Sharanya Venkataraghavan

Safety and PoSH expert

Sharanya serves as a PoSH external member for 15+ companies in e-commerce, fintech, healthcare, SaaS, and more. She supports partner organisations on legal procedures and best practices to build safe work cultures.

She has been involved in the review of PoSH policies, labour law compliances, and research regarding the risk of secondary victimisation of complainants under the PoSH Act.

Sharanya graduated with BBA, LLB (Hons.) degree from Symbiosis Law School, Pune. She has experience in PoSH and employment law with notable law firms like Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co., J. Sagar and Associates, among others.

Nandini Abraham

Statistical Analyst

Nandini conducts extensive industry-specific research on DEI trends in India, South East Asia, Europe, and the USA. Nandini is responsible for developing statistical models for DEI assessment on Serein’s DEI SaaS Tool. She designs measurement tools for DEI benchmarking, inclusion assessments, and employee experience surveys.

Nandini is passionate about creating engaging and impactful reports, toolkits, and playbooks for Serein’s customers.

Nandini holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Mathematics & Statistics from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore.

Nithya R

HR and Compliance Lead

Nithya drives operational excellence within the HR function. She ensures that Serein maintains the highest standards of HR practices and ethical conduct. Her role extends beyond traditional HR responsibilities as she also serves as an External Member of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for Serein’s clients, specialising in preventing workplace harassment through the PoSH vertical.

Nithya has graduated in Commerce from the University of Lucknow and has rich experience in hiring and retaining the best talents in the industry with companies like BukuWarung and Belong.co.

Sri Padmavathi C

Finance Consultant

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Sri Padmavathi C specialises in providing accounting consulting services to companies. She helps in assisting & maintaining Serein’s Books of Accounts, GST, TDS, PT filing, financial statements preparation & audit review.
 
She holds an MBA with Finance Specialisation from Annamalai University, and has also has done CA articleship under CA Tom Joseph’s guidance.

Anisha Debnath

PoSH and DEI Workshops Facilitator

As a PoSH and DEI Workshops Facilitator, Anisha is primarily responsible for conducting sessions and facilitating conversations that enable building of safe and inclusive workplaces for all. Anisha also undertakes in-depth research into various Diversity, Equity and Inclusion issues that plague our work cultures today. All of this research goes into designing bespoke sessions and curating interactive learning experiences for several of Serein’s partners. 

Anisha has a background in History, especially in the history of gender and early feminism in colonial South Asia. 

Anisha has a Bachelor’s degree in History (Hons.) from Gargi College, University of Delhi. She has also studied for an MPhil in World History from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Aseem Deuskar

Inclusive Workspace Architect

LinkedIn

Aseem is an Inclusive Workspace Architect dedicated to reshaping workplace diversity and accessibility. He is skilled in conducting comprehensive accessibility audits and implementing inclusive design solutions.


Aseem is passionate about creating environments that foster equal opportunities

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

 

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