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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Managing and Inspiring the Multi-Generational Workforce

“Historically, today’s workplace is the most diverse with respect to age that has ever existed,” according to What exactly does this mean? To begin, this means that for the first time in modern history the typical workplace consists of four generations. Newly hired 20-year-olds are working alongside colleagues who are their senior by 30 years or more. It also means that the managers of today must be prepared to lead multiple generations with different work ethics and who are motivated by different things.

With this drastic change in the workplace, poses four questions that we think are worth asking to make sure your organization is on the right track.

First, what will this mean for your organization? The four main generations, Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials are all so drastically unique that heads are bound to butt. How will your organization handle this? And what will the overall effect of this conflict be?

The next question to be considered is what is the generational mix of your organization? Does your workplace consist mainly of two or three of these groups? Or is it an equal distribution of all four? Whatever it may be, your leadership should be tailored to best fit your employees.

How will you leverage the unique strengths of each generation in order to retain your key players, improve productivity, and maximize teamwork? Traditionalists are known for their loyalty while Baby Boomers are known for being optimistic. Members of Generation X are incredibly independent while those who fall under the Millennial category tend to challenge the status quo and want their work to have meaning. Each generational trait can be strategically leveraged to improve your organization.

Lastly, are your managers prepared to lead multiple generations? As leaders, your manager’s are responsible for understanding the personality of each generation, and each individual. If your managers are able to understand and value what each generation has to offer, your employees will feel more connected to the organization, thus maximizing the individual strengths you have at your disposal.

Ask your employees what they need in order to be most productive on the job. Ensure that your leaders have the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate with every employee. We believe that if you learn more about your employees, you will learn what makes them perform at their highest levels. To read more about our approach on employee engagement visit our Articles page on our website.

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