Triple Tip: Navigating Generational Difference

Did you know that approximately 19% of the American workforce is age 65 or older?

More people are working past retirement age, “…and [for the majority], it’s not because they need the money,” reports Business Insider. Longevity is the main reason Americans work past the age of 65.

With more retirement-age folks in the workforce, some organizations actually have five generations working side-by-side, making it difficult to manage the multigenerational workplace. 

3 Quick Tips To Help Navigate The Multigenerational Workplace

  • In order to navigate a multigenerational workplace, you must understand the five generations. For starters, I think it’s helpful to define the five generations. The years vary from source-to-source, but here’s an estimate:
      • Traditionalists: born before 1946
      • Baby Boomers: born between 1946 and 1964
      • Generation X: born between 1965 and 1976
      • Generation Y, or Millennials: born between 1977 and 1997
      • Generation Z: born after 1997
  • Identify pain points. Nicholas Pearce, a clinical assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, suggests identifying pain points that may create multigenerational tension in the workplace. “Traditionalists and Baby Boomers, for example, tend to give respect deferentially based on one’s position in the hierarchy, while Generation Xers and Millennials are more likely to give respect to those who are seen as deserving—regardless of. . .hierarchy,” shares KelloggInsight.
  • Provide space for Gen Z to teach. In her TEDx Talk, Leah Georges, shares her research on the multigenerational workforce, saying, “The generation coming to work [i.e. Gen Z] is the youngest, most educated, most diverse generation we’ve seen yet. Provide space for them to teach in the workplace.” Georges suggests teaching in the moments when it’s appropriate, but also taking time to learn.

How do YOU navigate the multigenerational workplace?

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