Home Featured How To Manage A Multigenerational Workforce (11 Tips)

How To Manage A Multigenerational Workforce (11 Tips)

How To Manage A Multigenerational Workforce (11 Tips)

It’s no secret that the workforce is changing. With that change come new challenges and frustrations. But change also brings new opportunities for learning, growth, and innovation.

But, in many cases, it’s easier said than done especially when managing a multigenerational workforce.

After all, it’s not simply about adopting new forms of modern technology; it’s about understanding and accommodating your team’s different motivations, expectations, and working styles.

This article is designed to help you lead all ages of your team. These are 11 tips that will help you manage your multigenerational workforce.

11 Tips for managing a multigenerational workforce

As with any management, it is important to start with the basics. These are often things you can control and things you can do within yourself.

1. Encourage an open-minded attitude

Encourage open-mindedness in your staff is one of the best things you can do for them as managers.

With so many different generations in the workplace, it’s vital that everyone feels they have a voice. Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.

These are three ways to get you started.

  • Ask for feedback from everyone in the team, regardless of their age.
  • Offer open hours for your team to meet up in your office to share their ideas and have a chat.
  • Encourage healthy discussion and respect for each other

Management of a multigenerational workforce requires open-mindedness. This allows everyone to succeed. At some point, someone will make a mistake or cause an offense.

It’s imperative to foster a culture of accountability so that everyone knows that these things are not tolerated. But, it’s just as important to encourage an environment where people feel comfortable making mistakes without fear of judgment or retribution.

2. Promote a Culture of Learning

Right now there are four generations working in the workforce. All of them have different expectations and work styles.

  1. The Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.
  2. Generation Xers (born between 1975 and 1980)
  3. Millennials (born between 1981 & 1996)
  4. Generation Zers (born after 1997)

Generation X is more inclined to work in isolation than millennials, while millennials tend to be more open to collaboration.

When you place these two generations side-by-side, it’s easy to see how conflict can arise. They can come to a mutual understanding and compromise if they are able to openly discuss their expectations and needs.

You can create a culture of learning at work

It’s easy to see conflict as an opportunity for growth and innovation.

These are just three suggestions:

  • For company-wide training sessions in emotional intelligence, unconscious bias and cross-generational communication, hire a multigenerational team to help you.
  • Mentorship can be encouraged by pairing employees from different ages together to learn from one another.
  • Designate a specific day each week or month as a “learning day” where everyone is encouraged to read an article, listen to a podcast, or watch a TED talk that exposes them to new ideas and generational perspectives

3. Encourage cross-generational collaboration

Encourage cross-generational cooperation to foster a culture that values learning.

In fact, studies have shown that multigenerational teams are more innovative because they’re able to draw on a broader range of experiences and perspectives. In short, they’re able to think outside the box. [1]

You can benefit from the unique perspectives and ideas of people at different stages of life by putting them side-by side. And isn’t that the main goal?

Diversity is key to innovation, so if you want your business to stay ahead of the curve, it’s imperative to provide your team with opportunities to collaborate across generations.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Give feedback to different ages about upcoming projects. Also, give them the freedom and responsibility to make their mark.
  • Encourage employees of all ages to share with each other their favorite apps and tools
  • Co-leaders with different ages should be appointed to supervise company-wide projects

Cross-generational collaboration can be complex, but it’s worth the effort. By encouraging your team to share their unique perspectives, you’re opening the door to a world of possibilities and setting your business up for success.

4. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

There will always be differences between the generations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find common ground and enjoy working together.

It can be great fun to work in a group of people from different generations. Research shows that an enjoyable work environment makes you more productive.

How can you ensure that everyone has fun at work? These are three suggestions:

  • Social events for the company that cater to different interests can be planned.
  • You can organize intergenerational teams of sportspeople and let them compete against other businesses within your industry.
  • Encourage employees to decorate their workplaces in a way that reflects who they are.

Every workplace should place fun as a top priority. Fun should be an important priority for multigenerational teams.

It not only fosters a positive work environment but also makes everyone feel valued. That’s something all ages can get behind.

5. Manage Expectations

When managing an intergenerational workplace, it’s essential to manage expectations. You won’t always see eye-to-eye with every employee, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s to be expected.

Generational clashes will occur. The most important thing is to manage them in a way that doesn’t result in conflict. You don’t want your team to feel divided or disrespected.

Here are some ways to manage your expectations

  • Flexibility is key when accommodating different generations. For example, allowing a millennial remote worker to work for two days while allowing a baby boomer to work every day.
  • Be clear when hiring for multigenerational work environments
  • Keep in touch with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page. Set clear expectations that are easy to implement.

If you can manage expectations, you’ll be well on your way to managing a multigenerational workplace successfully. Keep communication open and be flexible to meet different needs.

6. Assess Your Biases

When it comes to managing a multigenerational workplace, it’s important to evaluate your own biases. These biases can cloud our judgment and we all have them.

For example, you might be biased against millennials because you think they’re entitled or are always on their phones. But chances are, you know at least one millennial who doesn’t fit that stereotype.

And, even if they do, does that mean they’re not a good employee? They are not. These could be the right solution for your business in many ways.

On the other hand, if you’re a millennial, you might have preconceptions about baby boomers or Gen Xers. Maybe you think they’re out of touch or don’t value inclusion and diversity as much as you do. But that’s not always the case.

In fact, many Fortune 500 companies are led by these two generations, and they’re some of the world’s most inclusive and diverse workplaces. Look at Google, Cisco and IBM.

We often become the multigenerational challenges that we desire to avoid as leaders. You must understand your biases in order to effectively lead a multigenerational workforce.

7. Encourage Mentorship

Mentorship is an excellent way to manage multigenerational teams. It fosters community and allows for different generations to learn from each others.

For example, an employee with the company for 20 years can mentor a newer employee on the company’s history, culture, and values. [2]

And in the same way, a Generation Z employee can teach older employees about the latest technology, social media trends, and how to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing world.

Many companies mistake mentoring for mimicking, but it’s much more than passing down information. It builds relationships based on trust, respect, shared goals, and creates trust. If your team is able to achieve this, then they are able to do anything. And that’s what you want in a multigenerational workplace.

8. Budget for Leadership Training

It takes effort, time, and money to keep a healthy workplace. That’s why creating a budget for executive coaching, retreats, and conferences should be a top priority for multigenerational workplace managers. Leadership starts at the top.

If you invest in your personal development, it sets the tone for your whole team. You’re saying you’re committed to growth, learning, and change. That sends a strong message to your employees.

What are some of the things that you should include in your budget for training?

  • Leadership development workshops
  • Diversity and Inclusion Training
  • Conflict resolution courses
  • Communication seminars
  • Coaching one-on-one

The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can include. Be a leader by investing in yourself. It’ll pay off tenfold in the long run.

9. Promoting a work-life balance

Every generation is different in how they value work-life balance.

Generation X and baby boomers might find it means more time for their hobbies and other interests. It might also mean having more time to spend with friends and family. Generation Z might need to take time off for extended vacations or mental health days. They all differ, and that’s okay.

As a manager, it is crucial that you understand what work-life balance looks like for each employee. Next, make sure you offer options that are flexible for everyone. Flexibility in work hours is one way to do this.

If you allow your team to make their own schedules, it shows that you trust them. It also gives them the power to control their time. [3]

That’s something everyone can appreciate regardless of their generation.

10. Partner with Human Resources

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. A engaged HR team can make it easier to enjoy the benefits associated with a multigenerational workforce.

Human Resources are there for a reason. They can assist you in managing multigenerational workplaces and offer valuable insight into company policies, procedures and benefits.

They’re also a great resource regarding compliance issues, training opportunities, and resolving conflicts. If you are feeling overwhelmed, contact your HR team. They’ll be more than happy to help you and give you the support you need to succeed.

11. Be Patient

Last but not least, patience is a key tip to managing a multigenerational workforce.

Give yourself and your team time to adjust to each other’s communication styles, work habits, and ways of thinking. It won’t happen overnight, but eventually, you’ll find a rhythm that works for everyone.

How To Manage A Multigenerational Workforce

Take Action

Encourage an open-minded attitude Begin by listening to employees and allowing them to share their views. Everyone, regardless of age, should feel heard.
Promote a Culture Of Learning Different generations have different expectations, work styles, and motivations. Your employees can learn from each other instead of focusing solely on their differences if they are encouraged to create a culture of learning.
Encourage cross-generational collaboration No matter their age, let your people collaborate with each other. This encourages people to share ideas, which leads to a more innovative approach.
Assess Your Biases. Leaders can have biases that are harmful to other generations. This can be a barrier to success, so it is important to learn how you can set aside these biases. Mentorship is encouraged.
Budget for Leadership Training If you have the funds, leadership training is a great investment to help your employees act in the right direction and instill the values you desire.
Promoting a work-life balance Every generation has its unique idea of what it takes to lead a balanced and happy life. Find common ground with all generations and offer the best solution. Also, don’t forget to incorporate fun!


It is not easy to manage a multigenerational workforce. You must take your time and learn from your mistakes. Give your team the grace that they need.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating a multigenerational workplace that’s productive, cohesive, and inclusive for everyone. And that’s a goal worth working towards.

Shridhar Gupta, unsplash.com, featured photo

Refer to

[1] Harvard Business Review: 5 Generations of People Management
[2] Forbes: The Perks and Importance Of Being Part of A Multigenerational Workplace
[3] INC: Work Flexibility is Important

function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).show(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“-“); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).hide(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“+”); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).is(“:hidden”)) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery(“#” + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery(‘html, body’).animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top – window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

Lifehack’s post How to Manage a Multigenerational Workforce (11 Tips), appeared first on Lifehack.

Continue reading…