How to Manage a Multigenerational Workforce


Depositphotos_277138122_l-2015With more and more Millennials and Generation Z entering the workforce each year, many employers are finding it difficult to manage a team of multigenerational employees. Although there are certainly differences between generations, it is important not to get caught up on negative stereotypes and instead focus on the strengths each generation has to offer. Regardless of age, every type of employee can be an asset when properly managed.

Use Awareness and Understanding

Being aware and understanding the difference between how your intergenerational workers communicate can help improve collaboration amongst your employees. Older workers, such as those from the Boomer Generation or Generation X, grew up writing letters and are much more comfortable with long comprehensive emails. On the other hand, younger generations such as Millennials are used to instantaneous and concise messaging since they grew up texting and using twitter.

Set Explicit Expectations

Set clear expectations early so that every member of your team is on the same page. However, do not be too strict about how each employee is expected to reach their goal or complete their project. A Boomer employee will work very differently from a Millennial employee. Let your team know what needs to get done and set deadlines, but let each team member figure out how they work best. Observing how your employees accomplish their goals can help you design a process that incorporates each of their individual strengths.

Utilize Each Generation's Strengths

As we touched upon earlier, each generation has its own unique strengths that can benefit your company in different ways. Here is a brief list of the most important strengths of each generation to keep in mind when building your team.

  • Baby Boomers (1946- 1964)
    • excellent mentors
    • good team players
    • hard workers
  • Generation X (1965- 1976)
    • well rounded employees
    • great at juggling work-life balance
    • takes direction well
  • Millennials [Also known as Generation Y] (1977-1994)
    • Very independent workers who thrive on less supervision
    • Creative and out of the box thinkers
    • More technologically savvy then Generation X or Baby Boomers
  • Generation Z (1995-2010)
    • Even more technologically competent than Millennials
    • Natural entrepreneurial talents
    • Incredible multi-taskers

Promote Collaboration

Just because generations have so many differences does not mean they are incompatible. In fact, multi-generational teams can benefit and learn from the skills and experience of their peers. Be careful not to allow a hierarchy to form based on age or experience when developing a multi-generational workforce. Instead, do your best to highlight the various strengths each team member brings to the table and encourage cooperation. Once your team begins to view each other as partners instead of competitors, they will be more open to learning new skills and picking up wisdom from their teammates.

OEM America

Are you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to managing employees and administrative-related tasks for your small business? OEM America can help. For decades, we have been helping companies across Connecticut and throughout the country transform their businesses into the pinnacle of efficiency.

Through the use of our time-proven model for managing employees, you can cut costs and decrease your turnover rate in no time. Stop worrying about Human Resources, employee administration, and benefits management. Leave all of that to us! With OEM as your human resource management team, you can focus more on the high-payoff activities that help you grow and profit.

Contact us for a free consultation today!

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