Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

2006 Words9 Pages
The United States economy has experienced highs and lows throughout the years. These changes affect everyone in one way or another. The U.S. workforce is not exempt from feeling the effects of the economy. Many individuals across the nation have reassessed their career and personal goals due to financial hardships. One major trend developing is that individuals are beginning careers earlier, and ending careers later. The good old days of retiring at sixty-five are replaced with worrying about health care costs and retirements plans, with no retirement date in sight. Many parents are unable to foot the bill for their college-aged children, so the workforce has also seen a jump in young adults entering into the workforce. Nationwide, organizations are witnessing for the first time ever, four different generations working side by side. These generations have been labeled as the veterans or the traditionalist group (born before 1945), the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), generation X (born between 1965 and 1980), and generation Y (born after 1980). As a manager it can be quite challenging to manage four different generations of workers. All four generations have different strengths and weaknesses, so it takes a great manager to merge all of them into one productive team. To be an effective manager of such diverse groups, it takes understanding and appreciating the qualities each generation offers. This review analyzes current research available describing the differences between each generation, how to motivate each generation, and how to effectively merge the generations into one cohesive group. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GENERATIONS Currently, in the United States, there are over 1 million workers that are 75 years of age o... ... middle of paper ... ...orce earlier it is a fact of life that managers will encounter a multigenerational workforce at some point. Organizations need to prepare management to be able to handle such diverse populations. It was somewhat surprising to review the literature, and discover most all researchers agree that different generations of employees have different needs and are motivated differently. It is important to note that while researchers agree about generational generalizations, they are just generalizations. A manager needs to be aware of the generalizations about each generation to help them understand, but be careful not to let it become a stereotype and affect the way they approach that employee. The main point is that every employee brings something valuable to the workplace, and managers need to be aware of how to utilize those strengths to the organization’s benefit.
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