There is an increasing demand in the workforce today to add multigenerational diversity to the mix. What exactly comprises a multigenerational team, and what are the unique characteristics and expectations each generation brings the fore? Read this Idea to learn more about how to ensure your organization makes the most of its multigenerational workforce.
In a white paper published by Kenan-Flagler Business School, Dan Bursch and Kip Kelly describe today’s workforce has decidedly multigenerational and comprised of five generations each with distinct general characteristics:
A multigenerational ‘5G’ workforce brings with it a wide variety of challenges and opportunities; the benefits of multigenerational work teams include the fact that such teams are more flexible, and can gain and maintain more market share because they reflect the multigenerational market. In addition, they make better decisions because they have received broad-based input from multiple generational perspectives.
The key to managing the 5G workforce, according to Bursch and Kelly, is to appreciate their differences and focus on what they have in common. This is particularly important for HR and talent management professionals to do when developing plans to recruit, retain, and engage employees from different generations.
It is important to honour each generation’s unique contributions, and understand how the events they experienced in their lives have shaped their expectations in the workplace; for example, when recruiting Traditionalists, organizations should focus on personal contact and show respect for their age and experience. On the other hand, HR and talent management professionals who want to recruit and retain people from Generation X should appeal to their desire for flexibility in how and where work gets done.
Similarly, each other generation will have its own expectations that need to be understood and worked with in order to build a successful multigenerational team.
Managing the Multigenerational Workplace. Dan Bursch & Kip Kelly. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School White Paper (2014).
Ideas for Leaders is a free-to-access site. If you enjoy our content and find it valuable, please consider subscribing to our Developing Leaders Quarterly publication, this presents academic, business and consultant perspectives on leadership issues in a beautifully produced, small volume delivered to your desk four times a year.
For the less than the price of a coffee a week you can read over 650 summaries of research that cost universities over $1 billion to produce.
Use our Ideas to:
Speak to us on how else you can leverage this content to benefit your organization. email@example.com