Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

Blending Varied Generations in the Workplace Means Seeing Each Person as an Individual

Millennials and Baby Boomers are sharing workspaces, and many an article has focused on the differences betweengenerations in the workplace these two generations. As your environment gradually transitions and more generations are hired into your organization, you may be wondering if you’ll have trouble with multiple generations in the workplace.

The blending of generations in the workplace is largely dependent on your approach, and whether you decide to let stereotypes govern your thinking about how you manage your team. A recent survey by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources identified that there are some differences in the generations and how they view various factors related to employment:

Benefits: When it came to evaluating a job for benefits, there were some differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials. While both generations valued retirement savings options, health care and job security, Millennials tended to be more concerned about life-work balance when compared with Baby Boomers. They also tended to value training opportunities and tuition reimbursement more than Baby Boomers.

Advancement: Millennials were more focused on their ability to advance quickly in a position. This may not reflect generational differences as much as stage of life differences. A Millennial in an entry-level position would, of course, be more inclined to be concerned about advancement.

Work environment: Baby Boomers and Millennials were similar in valuing a work environment where communication is prioritized and having a boss that they respected. Employees also appreciated working with people they liked, enjoyed a diverse workplace and valued teamwork and collaboration.

While there are some differences between generations as a whole, it’s beneficial to you to evaluate your candidates and employees as individuals, not representatives of a particular generation. When you approach talent management focused on the individual, you’ll prevent stereotypes from influencing the company culture and creating an unnecessary “us versus them” mentality.

In order to push past preconceived notions, it’s important to include objective, data-driven tools into your hiring process. A behavioral assessment gives you vital information about a candidate’s motivations, tendencies and traits that aren’t accessible in an interview or visible on a resume.

While the survey revealed similar preferences on an area like communication, it’s important to note that communication takes many different forms in the current workplace. Does your candidate prefer more formal interactions, or can he run with your casual texting and open-door environment? A behavioral assessment gives you particulars, like how a person fits into your company culture and your communication styles.

To learn more about how behavioral assessment informs your hiring process, make an appointment with us at PI Consulting Group. We help you navigate the intricacies of managing multiple generations in the workplace, within a larger framework of a comprehensive talent management strategy.