CSO Online, a Web site and publication for risk assessment and security executives, says that corporations are constantly considering what makes different generations tick when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. But security experts say companies also need to examine age-based perspectives and habits when it comes to risk assessment and policies.

CSO reports that cultural analysts generally divide today’s workplace personnel into three generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y, also known as Millennials. The stereotypes typically go like this:

  • Gen Y employees, workers born after 1980, are tech savvy and have a short attention span
  • Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1965, are loyal and dependable, the original workaholics
  • And Gen Xers, once known as the slacker generation born between 1965 and 1980, tend to be cynical and independent.

Companies need to relate to all perspectives in order to create and communicate effective security policies as well as to diffuse “potentially explosive situations.”

Stereotypes are useless for predicting the actions and reactions of any one individual, CSO warns. Yet these characteristics do tend to ring true in the workforce at many organizations. The site quotes Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions, a Massachusetts-based consultancy that regularly advises corporations on generational differences. Companies need to find ways to relate to all perspectives in order to create and communicate effective security policies as well as to diffuse what Matuson terms “potentially explosive situations.”