THE MULTIGENERATIONAL
WORKFORCE: A CHALLENGE TO
LEADERS AND MANAGERS
Joyce Hendricks PhD
Edith Cowan University
Workforce
 An interesting make-up, involving four different
distinct generations, often with different needs
and cultural...
Generational Cohorts
-what is a cohort?
 A generation is an identifiable group that
shares birth years, age location and
...
4 generational cohorts
 Veterans; born 1925 – 1945
 Baby boomers; born 1946 – 1964
 Generation Xers; born 1965 – 1980
...
The Veterans (1925 – 1945)
Assets
 Stable
 Loyal and hard working
 Detail oriented
 Respect hard work and hierarchy
 ...
Baby boomers ( 1946 – 1964)
Assets
 Want to please – driven
 Service oriented
 Committed to self improvement
 Need ext...
Generation X (1965 – 1980)
Assets
 Techno- literate
 Independent
 Not intimidated by authority
 Creative
 Seek job sa...
Millennial generation (1980 – 2000)
Assets
 Resilient and tenacious
 Multitask
 Technologically savvy
 Optimistic
 Ex...
Current Leaders and Managers
 Consider for one moment leaders and or
managers that you know?
 Which generational cohort ...
Who are our workforce?
What happens when you have all
generations working together?
Consider this….
Veteran colleagues value hard work and respect
authority whereas Boomers value team work.
Generation X peo...
What happens?
Disharmony
Job dissatisfaction
“back stabbing”
Disrespect
Increased sick leave
All = Conflict
Research tells us …
Negative, non-supportive, unpleasant, and uncooperative peers
and co-workers are key impediments to pe...
Why Leaders & Managers need
to consider generational factors!
 To create a positive work environment
 To attract and ret...
Leaders: what to do!
 Personal introspection
 How do generational influences affect the ways in
which we interact and ma...
Leadership strategies
Communication
Sensitivity to communication differences across
generational cohorts, will bridge gaps...
Generational differences with
technology use
 Baby boomers reached adulthood without digital technology
although now many...
Leadership strategies
Conflict resolution
- work ethics
Vets -Follow orders unquestioningly, hardworking, professionalism
...
Leadership strategies
Management style
- flexibility
- situational
Leadership strategies
- Preceptoring
Y + X
- Coaching
Y+X
- Mentoring
B+ Y
If all else fails!
Highlighting mutual team goals and keeping
outcomes as the focal point will promote
effective solutions.
To sum…
Leaders need to be aware of and reframe
perceptions about generational differences
and to view these differences i...
Questions … and thank you.
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Joyce Hendricks, Edith Cowan University - The Multigenerational Workforce

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Joyce Hendricks, Edith Cowan University delivered this presentation at the 2012 Clinical Training & Workforce Planning Summit.

The 2012 Clinical Training & Workforce Planning Summit discussed the future of Australia's nursing workforce, exploring ways to ensure the capacity and experience to provide high quality care for our nation's increasing healthcare needs.

For more information, please visit http://www.informa.com.au/clinicaltraining12

Published in: Healthcare, Business, Education
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Joyce Hendricks, Edith Cowan University - The Multigenerational Workforce

  1. 1. THE MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKFORCE: A CHALLENGE TO LEADERS AND MANAGERS Joyce Hendricks PhD Edith Cowan University
  2. 2. Workforce  An interesting make-up, involving four different distinct generations, often with different needs and cultural experiences.  This generational diversity is an important issue in designing work environments that attracts both the younger generation and retains the present generation of workers.
  3. 3. Generational Cohorts -what is a cohort?  A generation is an identifiable group that shares birth years, age location and significant life events at critical developmental stages.  Generational traits are necessarily diffuse and often overlapping, these collective experiences create shared filters through which people interpret and react to subsequent experiences
  4. 4. 4 generational cohorts  Veterans; born 1925 – 1945  Baby boomers; born 1946 – 1964  Generation Xers; born 1965 – 1980  The Millennials also known as Y or Net Generation; born 1980 – 2000  “I” generation >
  5. 5. The Veterans (1925 – 1945) Assets  Stable  Loyal and hard working  Detail oriented  Respect hard work and hierarchy  Usually hold senior positions Liabilities  Dislike conflict  Inept with ambiguity and change  Reluctant to “buck” the system
  6. 6. Baby boomers ( 1946 – 1964) Assets  Want to please – driven  Service oriented  Committed to self improvement  Need extrinsic motivation Liabilities  Judgemental of those who see things differently  Self centred  Reluctant to go against peers  Won’t suffer in silence (“its not fair”) but don’t necessarily confront their issues directly
  7. 7. Generation X (1965 – 1980) Assets  Techno- literate  Independent  Not intimidated by authority  Creative  Seek job satisfaction  Not vertically but horizontally mobile  Live by “its just a job mentality”  Know that security lies in their skills and service Liabilities  Impatient  Poor people skills  Deal poorly with rigid structures
  8. 8. Millennial generation (1980 – 2000) Assets  Resilient and tenacious  Multitask  Technologically savvy  Optimistic  Expert diversity  Outcome driven Liabilities  Technology dependent  Need supervision and structure  Inexperienced in dealing with difficult people issues  Little tolerance for inefficiency
  9. 9. Current Leaders and Managers  Consider for one moment leaders and or managers that you know?  Which generational cohort are they from?  Do they fit into the descriptions provided?
  10. 10. Who are our workforce?
  11. 11. What happens when you have all generations working together?
  12. 12. Consider this…. Veteran colleagues value hard work and respect authority whereas Boomers value team work. Generation X people value self reliance and Net Generation colleagues’ value achievement. In the workplace, a veteran worker might say, “Do it because I say so” ; and a Boomer might say “Let’s get together and reach a consensus about how to do it”. The Generation Xer might say they will do it themselves and Net Gen might not care who does it as long as the work gets done.
  13. 13. What happens? Disharmony Job dissatisfaction “back stabbing” Disrespect Increased sick leave All = Conflict
  14. 14. Research tells us … Negative, non-supportive, unpleasant, and uncooperative peers and co-workers are key impediments to persons ability to find joy in their work (Manion, 2003) The lack of peer cohesion and poor working relationships account as a factor in burnout (Garrett & McDaniel (2001) Disrespectful behaviours are menacing in their erosion of productive collaborative approaches to work (Bernstein & Fundner, 2002/2003)
  15. 15. Why Leaders & Managers need to consider generational factors!  To create a positive work environment  To attract and retain staff from all generational cohorts.
  16. 16. Leaders: what to do!  Personal introspection  How do generational influences affect the ways in which we interact and manage?  How do you lead or manage?
  17. 17. Leadership strategies Communication Sensitivity to communication differences across generational cohorts, will bridge gaps and create solutions that appeal to each generational belief system. Vets – face to face BB – like Vets + staff meetings (informal) Xers – technology, want to know that decisions are made Millennials – emails, summary of changes
  18. 18. Generational differences with technology use  Baby boomers reached adulthood without digital technology although now many are embracing technology , some do so reluctantly.  Gen X since their teen years (1980s) have been using technology. They embrace its use.  Gen Y have lived their entire lives with technology use and expect it to be used.
  19. 19. Leadership strategies Conflict resolution - work ethics Vets -Follow orders unquestioningly, hardworking, professionalism BB -Works well in a team , believe they are carrying the system, work is a career, tired because of lack of promotion; they are important because team builders Xers -Will do it themselves because it is easier and only they can do it well anyway; marketability is personal success via technical competence, multi-tasking, and their ability to work well alone. Work is an occupation only Y - Just do it. Lack professional ethos
  20. 20. Leadership strategies Management style - flexibility - situational
  21. 21. Leadership strategies - Preceptoring Y + X - Coaching Y+X - Mentoring B+ Y
  22. 22. If all else fails! Highlighting mutual team goals and keeping outcomes as the focal point will promote effective solutions.
  23. 23. To sum… Leaders need to be aware of and reframe perceptions about generational differences and to view these differences in attitudes and behaviours as potential strengths
  24. 24. Questions … and thank you.
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