How to Manage a Multigenerational Workforce

facility-maintenance-serviceThe workforce in today’s era has changed drastically compared to the previous years. Today, we have a variety of employees with different ethnicities, religions, genders, and ages that are united together by the workforce.

Focusing primarily on the multi-generational workforce, we have 4 categories to consider when different age groups are brought together. They are the traditionalists, baby boomers, generation x, and millennials. Frustration and conflicts are bound to occur when these 4 generations are put together, but a benefit is that it can lead to an abundance of creativity.

Below are some suggestions as to how managers are able to unite the multigenerational workforce to make it a success. First, managers need to understand each generation’s backgrounds, perspectives, and challenges that they face in order to keep a positive work environment:

  • Traditionalists

    Traditionalists are the people who range from 70-81 years. They represent 5% of the workforce. Though they have had great work experience and accumulated plenty of knowledge they are stubborn to change. Managers can motivate the traditionalist by showing them that their experience can help the organization as well as reward them with certificates to show that their loyalty and hard work is appreciated.

  • Baby Boomers

    Baby Boomers are the people who range from 55-70 years. They represent 37% of the workforce. Their mentality is to be goal-oriented and have an adaptive sense. However, they are not great at dealing with conflicts so they may have a difficult time reaching the end result. Managers are able to motivate baby boomers by showing them how their focus can benefit the organization by giving them plenty of tasks and to-do lists to accomplish. Managers also encourage them by recognition and promotion.

  • Generation X

    Generation X are the people who range from 34-54 years. They represent 33% of the workforce. Their work mentality is to increase independence and adaptability and change the system in order to create an increase in productivity. Although they may have less respect for authority, managers are able to allow generation x to work on their own schedule, have resources, and the opportunity to grow.

  • Millennials

    Millennials are the people who range from 18-34 years. They represent 25% of the workforce. Since they grew up technology savvy their communication relies solely on technology. Since they are new to the workforce they need guidance and feedback for what they do. They are optimistic and able to multitask between projects. Managers need to reward millennials with tangible rewards to show they are doing well, due to their typical high expectations of recognition and reward.

If a manager is able to recognize the differences between the 4 generations then they are able to determine which engagements will work best to create a positive environment. A manager can recognize what an individual has accomplished and reward them for their work. In addition, create an atmosphere where teamwork is important to give individuals the opportunity to show their strength and work towards a common goal. Lastly, be open to the idea of communicating with your workers about generations to help diminish the stereotypes in the workforce. If you follow these tips above you can confidently encourage multi-generations working in your company.

Acility is a facility management company that works closely with leading, multi-location, blue chip clients to develop customized programs which deliver cost effective solutions.