Harnessing the Strengths of a Multigenerational Workforce

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Managers of a multigenerational workforce face the challenge of encouraging the strengths of each generation while putting measures in place to minimize weaknesses. The modern work environment typically includes three generations: baby boomers, generation Xers, and millennials. Effective managers need to understand what motivates individuals from these generations and what each has to offer the company. 

Baby boomers typically have a great deal of professional experience and bring vision to a company. With a long work history, they have insight into what does and does not work. Managers should view these employees as valuable and wise contributors, but take steps to ensure they don’t judge younger co-workers unfairly, or scorn them for their relative inexperience. 

Generation X employees are in the middle of their careers. They have experience working with baby boomers and also tend to better understand the quirks of millennials. Managers should take advantage of their translational skills and allow them to bridge the gap between younger and older workers. 

Individuals from the millennial generation can offer a novel way of looking at problems and a range of new skills, particularly in terms of technology and social media. Through their creativity, millennials can help develop new solutions to old problems. At the same time, millennials may need help identifying and connecting with mentors capable of guiding their professional growth.