3 Tips to Help Manage the Differences in a Multigenerational Workforce

Today’s workforce is increasingly multigenerational due to the existence of three generations — Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millennials (Generation Y).

A major challenge managers face is how to manage and motivate collaboration between their multigenerational employees. Such a diverse generational mix creates challenges for managers trying to adapt to the work styles, perspectives and motivating factors of each generation.

Bridging the gap between generationally diverse employees can be a difficult and stressful task.

How to take advantage of a diverse workforce

Here are some tips for managers to take advantage of the strengths and differences among their diverse workforce.

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  1. Recognize their strengths — It can be difficult to keep multigenerational teams productive and focused on your company’s mission and vision. Identifying the strengths each generation brings to your company can help you delegate tasks accordingly. Millennials for example, are known for being the “tech-savvy” employees in today’s workforce. Your business could greatly benefit from leveraging their technological skills. Recognize the strengths of each generation and delegate tasks accordingly to achieve better results.
  2. Capitalize on the differences — Think about all of the resources at your disposal with this wide-range of skills and figure out how you can capitalize on that. Each generation brings a different set of skills to the table and co-mentorships will generate a harmonious environment and create employees who are well-rounded. A co-mentorship may result in a productive and unified team focused on the mission and vision of your company.
  3. Provide training programs — This is a no-brainer! Most employees would take advantage of training provided by the employer to improve their skill sets. Since there are three generations in the workforce, people are concerned with job security and would take great interest in an opportunity to become more marketable. Providing training programs to employees has a high return on investment. Your employees are happy and more confident in their abilities and their increased expertise adds value to your organization.

Managing multigenerational teams can be a challenge, but it can also be profitable and productive for the company if it is done correctly.

This was originally published on the Genesis HR Solutions blog.

Hilliary Comeau is a Marketing Associate and Social Media Manager at Genesis HR Solutions, a leading provider of PEO and full life-cycle HR services, comprehensive employee benefits and integrated payroll administration. Hilliary manages and contributes to the Genesis Blog, which provides valuable HR content.


2 Comments on “3 Tips to Help Manage the Differences in a Multigenerational Workforce

  1. Hilliary

    In our experience, people have found it hard to evaluate the ROI on Training initiatives. It calls for a close integration with the performance management systems to accurately evaluate the impact and hence the ROI of a training initiative.

    How do you suggest businesses evaluate the ROI on their pending training

    initiatives and hence start to reap the benefits?

  2. Hillary – Those are some helpful high level tips! One thing I’d like to clarify however, in fact we have 5 generations currently in the workforce. We still have Traditionalists in the workforce. Also depending on the research, some breaks out Millennials and Gen Y and goes even further to account for the differences and styles of Gen C. Though we are all people, and thus have a fundamental human need for many of the same things in the workplace, if looking through the generational diversity lens it is important to account for all the cohorts.

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