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How to Manage a Multi-Generational Workforce

It will come as no surprise to you when I say all workers are different. There are, however, similarities among individuals, and learning how best to manage those different groupings is crucial to your company’s success. In an earlier blog we touched on how an individual’s personality type affects their work and overall engagement in the workplace. Today I want to go ahead and touch on another factor, their generation.

Many companies have multi-generational workforce's, meaning they have employees from Baby Boomers all the way up to Gen Z-ers and beyond. As mentioned earlier, every individual is different, but there are commonalities among the individuals within the same generation. We will be discussing work traits, what they want from work, the best way to motivate them, and the best way to win their loyalty.

Let’s take a look:

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964): These individuals are known for their optimism and strong work ethic. Baby Boomers crave respect, a loyal employer, and a hierarchical structure in the workplace. An important way to motivate this generation is by asking for and utilizing their suggestions and experience. Publicly honoring Baby Boomers for their hard work and dedication to your company is a great way to win their loyalty, as is offering them a reliable retirement package.

Gen X-ers (born 1965-1979): Independent and innovative are two of the best ways to describe Gen X-ers. They are always looking for problem-solving opportunities and autonomy in the workplace. Assigning them meaningful tasks that engage their critical thinking skills will help to keep this generation motivated. In order to win Gen X-ers loyalty, avoid micromanaging them and lead by example.

Millennials (born 1980-1995): Millennials are well-known for being the “tech-savvy” generation. They also are often very collaborative and focused on the greater good. They crave flexibility, training opportunities, and an understanding/empathetic employer. One way to motivate Millennials is by matching them up with an inspiring leader or mentor within your company. Feedback and reinforcement are also important to this generation. To earn the loyalty of your Millennial employees, get to know their interests and goals, involve them in the decision-making process, and recognize them for their contributions and impact they have on your company.

Gen Z-ers (born after 1996): These individuals are practical and flourish best in diverse workplaces. They are looking for culturally competent employers, who provide mentorship, stability, and competitive wages. Motivate Gen Z-ers by giving them examples of best practices and allowing them to perform tasks independently. This generation will be most loyal to employers with opportunities for growth in their career path. 

As always, it is important to remember that your employees are all different individuals with their own personalities. Getting to know your employees is CRUCIAL to the success of your company. Employees will always be your best asset. 

We want to hear from you! Comment below, is your workforce an even mix of these generations? Or composed of one or two more so than the others?

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