How To: Multi-Generational Management


Managing a company is hard enough, but managing multiple generations can make it even more overwhelming. Managers and employees alike struggle with generational differences at the workplace and many let these differences inhibit or get in the way of their work. However, these phenomena can be addressed in a non-confrontational way. Managers should strive to take steps that will benefit both the Company and their multi-generational employees. By doing so, employee relationships will improve and therefore smoother operations will result.

There have been many articles written about dealing with a multigenerational workforce that emphasize how difficult and massive these generational age gaps can be, but perhaps these differences are not as acute as first thought. In general, employees, regardless of their age, want the same basic things: clear expectations, company and decision-making involvement, growth opportunities, and resources for professional development. Focusing on these common desires can help cut away at any perceived generational gap. This mind set can also assist in overcoming unconscious biases about generations.

As a manager, it is important to be versatile in the way that you communicate with your employees. Methods of communication can range from text messaging to emailing to face-to-face interaction. Finding a balance in methods of communication within your particular workplace will allow for a higher level of focus and engagement from your employees. It is important to keep in mind, however, that to be the most effective manager you must manage employees based on their goals, abilities, and strengths rather than their generation.

To ensure that all employees are comfortable at the workplace, it is best to avoid generalizations, particularly those about generational differences. Not only does this negative thinking enforce false stereotypes, but it could make certain employees feel less engaged or singled out, thereby causing them to seek employment elsewhere. Drawing less attention to generational age gaps minimizes the potential issue and allows more opportunity to focus on work. It is also critical to encourage everyone to embrace what they have in common. This encouragement can increase collaboration and build trust among coworkers.

Teamwork is an integral component of any workplace and it cannot be avoided simply because of a multigenerational workforce. However, the multigenerational aspect of a team can be a huge positive rather than a negative. Holistic project outcomes are more common when different levels of experience are blended on a team by combining team members with higher level technology skills with others having more career and industry skills. Teams should be created based upon individual skill sets in order to allow everyone on the team to broaden their horizons.

Informal mentoring and reverse mentoring opportunities are perfect for a multigenerational workforce. Each generation has something to teach those before and after it ranging from written or verbal communication skills to prowess in technology, insight, experience, or leadership skills. Taking advantage of mentoring will benefit the organization as all employees feel engaged and valued by the company and management.

Although managing a multigenerational staff can be trying, it is far from an impossible task. Utilizing these tips will help any manager tremendously with the end result being highly productive employees, content in their work environment regardless of their age! Of course, at Mazur and Associates, Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors, PC, we are poised to assist you in any way we can. Our firm employs multigenerational staff; therefore we possess insight on this issue and can counsel you on how to extract the greatest productivity from your staff and enhance employee job satisfaction at your Company! To schedule a consultation, please contact us at (732) 936-1230 or communicate through our website: We look forward to hearing from you!

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