January 6, 2017

Multigenerational Leadership: The Key to Teamwork

Written by Oleksii Vyshnyk


Today‚Äôs multigenerational workforce includes employees between the ages of 18-80 years. Some employees are only starting their careers while others are approaching their retirement. The dominant three generations, which are forming a balanced mix of the workforce environment remain the same: baby boomers, Generation X-ers and millennials.

This year, multigenerational leadership will gain its popularity among effective leaders who are focused on achieving organizational goals by satisfying the needs and expectations of all three employee generations. The most prominent step to managing a multigenerational team is acknowledging the differences and the fundamental advantages of organizational diversity. Here are several leadership tips to adopt when managing a diverse team.

Mentorship on Both Ends

Statistically, each employee generation has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, baby boomers have a rich experience in high-level positions and thorough understanding of cost-effectiveness. At the same time, Generation X-ers are great relationship builders and problem solvers, and specialize on generating maximum revenue. Millennials are the savviest tech generation with a well-developed level of adaptation and endless enthusiasm for innovations. As a result, such a variety of skills creates a perfect condition for the mentorship program to transfer knowledge and experience from one generation to the next.

Avoid Stereotypes

In the age of globalization, every manifestation of workforce diversity is an advantage for organizations around the world. An effective leader understands that and knows how to communicate clearly about the advantages of differences. In order to avoid misunderstanding or false assessment of abilities among multigenerational team members, it is essential to show that each generation has something of value to share with other colleagues.

Personalized Learning

Different generations learn in their own way. In order to keep each generation on track towards maximum productivity and engagement, the learning process has to be adaptive and well-targeted to the specific needs of every team member. While baby boomers prefer personal knowledge sharing, Generation X-ers may prefer a blended learning approach, and millennials are all about learning at the speed of search. Learning and development leaders need to understand their audience and tailor learning to meet their specific needs.

Flexible Leadership

A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective in multigenerational leadership. Each generation comes to the workplace with their own expectations, priorities, lifestyles and communication methods. If a leader wants to build a team that strives towards the same goal, the best plan is to show individual paths to this goal that resonates with each generation. For this purpose, an individual approach to rewards, motivation and work style should be aligned with the clear communication of needs and expectations.

Appeal to Common Values

Despite all the differences, three generations have many things in common. Above all, every employee wants to feel valued, engaged and important in their role. An effective leader has to act as a mediator and coach, who is striving to assist employees in achieving their individual career goals. With that in mind, baby boomers, Generation X-ers and millennials will assemble the dream team of professionals with diversified skills directed for organizational success.


Oleksii Vyshnyk

Oleksii Vyshnyk is an Editorial Supervisor at the writing agency Slovis LLC where he is responsible for editing all content related to all training and development. Oleksii holds a Masters of Educational Management.

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