Editor’s note: This is an edited version of an article written by Acuity Training titled “How To Manage A Multigenerational Workforce.”
Great managers adapt their management style to fit their company’s goals and values. However, in practice, this isn’t straightforward as your workforce will have different personalities and values which are heavily influenced by employees. This article will look at the different generations currently in the workforce, their defining traits and will provide you with tips on how best to manage a multigenerational workforce.
A multigenerational workforce is one that is made up of employees from different generations. This is the reality for most medium to large businesses. Most teams and departments will have people from at least two different generations. Today, the bulk of the workforce comes from four predominant generations:
If people find it difficult to interact with people from different generations, team management becomes that much more difficult.
Let’s look at some of the differences quickly:
Different generations communicate very differently. The communication style Baby Boomers and Gen X leans towards is face-to-face and phone calls. Millennials and Gen Z think that if it’s important, you should text and ask when the best time is to call and only in real emergencies should you cold-call.
Each generation has different expectations for their careers. Baby Boomers are renowned for their loyalty, work ethic, “live to work” mentality and focus on financial stability. Gen X, meanwhile, are much more open to switching companies (and even careers), with an average tenure of just five years (compared to 15 for Baby Boomers). Millennials are known for being an ambitious bunch, with a focus on career growth.
Managers need to take these kinds of differences into consideration to make sure that every employee can be motivated accordingly.