By Rose Miller
Many managers are finding it difficult to manage today’s multigenerational workforce. It is becoming clear that younger employees express themselves differently from older employees. As a person in the Boomer category, I struggle too. I’ve had to learn to adapt management strategies to fit the various generations, who work, think, train, and communicate differently.
The workplace is more multigenerational than ever before. It’s not unusual to find employees over 60 working alongside 20-year-olds, and it’s possible to find recent college graduates supervising employees old enough to be their parents.
The primary generations in workplaces today are Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), Generation Xers (born between 1965-1980), and Millennials (born between 1981-2000), with members of Generation Z (born from 1997-on) quickly filling a larger share of job vacancies.
The competitiveness of Boomers and the ego-centric approach of Gen Xers are causing friction with the younger generations. Layer on a company’s need to preserve institutional knowledge, and it’s critical that older managers begin to transfer knowledge to the younger generations.
Although we should be mindful to avoid stereotypes or try to paint with too broad a brush, there are certain tendencies that a group will commonly identify with. As a group, each generation has different values, attitudes, expectations, needs and motivators. Managers are dealing with employees with shifting views towards job satisfaction, which is tethered to employee retention.