The makeup, attitude, and preconceived notions of today’s multi-generational workforces couldn’t be more different than previous generations, as there has been a significant shift in focus from career to lifestyle with recent generations. This is also most evident in how management communicates with workers, and workers communicate amongst themselves. All of which poses new challenges for managers across all industries.
With employees tending to stay in the workforce longer, and more new employees entering the workforce right out of college, the age range of today’s multi-generational workforce includes:
- Traditionalist – born before 1943-45
- Baby Boomers – born from 1943-1965
- Gen X – born from 1965 -1978
- Gen Y – born from 1978-1986
- Millennials – born from 1986-1994
- Gen Z – born from 1994-2000
One of the most distinguishable differentiators when comparing traditionalist to more recent generations is that the former seem to have more loyalty to their employers, with more recent generations focused more on their personal lifestyles and careers. As a result, today’s employees often require more incentive than just a fair paycheck. This is the root of a common disconnect between management and employees since many workers are satisfied with doing their job 9-5 and going home, which frustrates traditional management teams across the country.
So what can managers do to help keep multi-generational workforces happy and engaged?
It’s important to clearly understand every employee’s goals, which will help better gauge their drive to complete assigned tasks and more. This will help both managers and employees set realistic performance expectations.
Determine the Best Forms of Communication
Each generation has its own preferred methods of communicating. Traditionalists prefer face to face or phone communications, baby boomers prefer email, and Gens X/Y/Z prefer immediate access via text or chat programs. Identifying your team’s collective communications preferences allows you to select the right combination of tools that work best for them.
Leverage Communications to Build Collaboration
Opening up the best channels of communication is the first step in building collaboration. And establishing collaboration is the first step in turning a workforce into a team. Encourage employees to identify new technologies and tools, design better processes, and implement new company standards. By getting them involved in developing processes, they will be more apt to abide by them, thereby increasing throughput and workflow productivity.
Speakers: Maria Dominguez and Brittany Galli