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Multi-generational workforce- How to manage them effectively?

admin June 04, 2015

Do you know that for the first time in history, 5 generations will soon be put together and asked to work side-by-side in the same building or office for eight or more hours each day. Will this multi-generational workplace turn out to be a happy and productive or challenging and stressful perspective? In large part, up to you: the boss.

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There is no doubt that employees are struggling with generational differences in the workplace. That means how should you relate to employees of different age groups? What can you do to encourage employees of different generations to share their knowledge, focus on the issue before productivity (and profit) takes a downhill turn? Obviously you're bound to have some conflicts.

First of all, you have to figure out Who they are

You need to know what kind of generations of your employees, understand their characteristic and analyze them:


- Baby Boomers: born between 1946 and 1964, are competitive and ambitious, strong work ethic, multi-taskers. Baby Boomers embraced the value of having to sacrifice to get ahead. All that sacrifice makes them very loyal

- Gen Xers: born between 1965 and 1980, are more likely to be skeptical and independent-minded, independent, the highest number of divorced parents, dual-income families, self-sufficient. They were also the first generation to grow up with technology. As such, this generation cares more about productivity and less about the number of hours spent on the job

- Gen Ys—also known as Millennials - were born from 1981 to 1996 - like teamwork, feedback and technology. They are extremely conscious of the global environment; open-minded and accepting of differences in race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.; socially conscious. They are a generation entrenched in technology as well as the consummate multi-taskers who understand how to maximize and leverage the new technology, they pursue a balanced lifestyle and equality on the job.

- Gen Z: were born after 1997- the future workforce with a lot of activities relating to social and moderm technology. You also should analyze them for the future human resource management plan.

Strengths of each generation

So, you knew them. The next stuff to do is let them know each other, too. Between different generations always exist a gap in their mind, a prejudice can hardly deny: Veterans may think the "young and naughty kids" in the workplace are lazy, while the Millennials or Generation X'ers may think the Veterans and even Baby Boomers are too rigid. Your job opens their mind and helps them learn the best things from each other.


You should do the experiment with mixed-age teams and reverse mentoring programs that enable older, experienced workers to interact with and learn from younger, older colleagues could learn tech skills and other hand, they teach young employees professional counsel and help them to improve communication skills.

The employees coming into the labor force (Generation Y) are powerful in numbers and will be expected to make up for the shortage due to the retirement of the old generations. If managers don't help break down communication barriers now, they will find themselves short of talented workers when they are really needed.

Change your management style for each generation

You need to be objective, understanding the working style of each employee involved, and manage according to the different situations, generations as well as to the employee's value system and suitable with their characteristic: For example, when a millennial is using her smartphone in a meeting, she may be multitasking, rather than undisciplined or rude, or employees in their 30s and 40s, on the other hand, often have children, mortgages and are in need of flexibility working hours as well as “money and advancement”. Find out what each person wants as a motivational incentive and then offer that incentive. Give people choices.


If you truly desire to work with all generations to create a positive and productive work environment, your employees will be open and honest and tell you what they want, and will also try to give you what you need to be a successful organization.

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