How to Manage the Multigenerational Workplace
How to Manage the Multigenerational Workplace

How to Manage the Multigenerational Workplace

Employees across four different generations are making valuable contributions in today’s business world, but each generation comes to work with a different set of preferences for learning and coaching. Because receiving feedback and seeing a path to career growth are key factors in determining employee satisfaction, it’s imperative that HR professionals know how to navigate the needs of their employees regardless of their age.

In a recent webinar with Paycor, noted HR expert and consultant Leigh Branham broke down the differences among the generations and explained how they affect management dynamics.

Feedback and coaching

As times have changed, so has the way employees wish to have their performance reviewed. For traditionalists—those workers born before 1946—no news is seen as good news. They tend not to expect feedback so long as things are going well.

Baby Boomers, meanwhile, expect to get feedback via a formal review once a year, with lots of documentation. As a result, Baby Boomer managers tend to withhold feedback because they didn’t receive much during the formative years of their careers.

That can be tricky as Boomers manage reports from younger generations—Generation X and the Millennials—who need a much greater level of feedback on their performance.

Gen X workers are hungry to know where they stand, and they periodically will seek out their managers to ask with an approach that might be described as, “Sorry to interrupt, but how am I doing?” With Millennials, the bar is far higher. Nine of 10 of these newer members of the workforce expect feedback once a day.

Because of these generational differences in styles, it’s important to have clear policies and procedures in place on a corporate level so all employees understand what is expected of them and how and when they will be judged. Job descriptions and performance review forms and practices should be standardized, and HR leaders must proactively coach managers to help them adapt to their direct reports’ various preferences.

Career development and learning

The generation gap is also evident in how today’s workforce thinks about professional development and continuing education. The ability to see a career path into the future is a key indicator of whether an employee will stay with an organization or seek more opportunity elsewhere.

Traditionalists tend not to prioritize formalized training to learn new skills or job roles. Thus, they might not be quick to offer such training to direct reports. Traditional thinking is, “I learned the hard way, and so will you.”

The Boomers’ thought process is very different but also can lead to a lack of training for their employees. The Boomer generation was raised to believe in lifetime employment with one organization; thus, they see training less experienced colleagues as potentially risky—train them too much, and they’ll leave.

That’s in direct opposition to Generation Xers, who have been shown to stay longer in roles where they have more chances to learn.

For Millennials, continuous learning is a way of life. Having grown up during uncertain financial times, they’ve seen how economic downturns affect workers. Instead of looking for lifetime employment, they’re looking for lifetime employability. Changing jobs is their expectation, so they’re most satisfied when they can improve their résumés and stay marketable.

Want to learn more? View a recording of Leigh’s recent webinar.

From retention to employee training to HR policies, Paycor’s technology can help you manage your team’s talent. With solutions ranging from affordable, online resources such as HR Support Center to a robust HRIS, we have the tools you need to keep up with changing trends. Learn more about what we can do for your business.

More to Discover

Case Study: Baptist Bible College

Case Study: Baptist Bible College

In need of more robust HR & payroll technology to handle their complex needs, Baptist Bible college discovered an expert partner in Paycor. “In our industry, keeping up with payroll, taxes and compliance is very challenging. But Paycor’s specialized higher education team gives me the peace of mind we’re covered. From proactive compliance alerts and user groups to a dedicated industry contact, Paycor is a partner I trust to helps us eliminate risk." - Jason Todd, Vice President, Finance Why Baptist Bible College left their previous HR & payroll provider Founded in 1950 in Springfield Missouri, Baptist Bible College is a private Christian college that specializes in ministry and professional studies degrees. Like many small...

Mental Health in the Workplace: 5 Ways Employers Can Make a Difference

Mental Health in the Workplace: 5 Ways Employers Can Make a Difference

The effect of mental health on workers—and the workplace—is staggering. Just consider the statistics: 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Up to 80% will manage a diagnosable mental health condition during their lifetime (National Institutes of Health) In fact, 60% of American workers experienced at least one symptom of a mental health condition in the past year (Mind Share Partners) However, only 43.3% of US adults with mental illness actually receive treatment (National Alliance on Mental Illness) The results are stark: 200 million work days are lost per year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), while the World Health Organization estimate the cost to the global economy at...

Banker

CFOs’ Biggest Challenges in 2020

CFOs’ Biggest Challenges in 2020

It’s never a bad time to look forward to changes that might have an impact on the business… especially financially. Many CFOs find that they’re faced with four primary areas of focus in 2020: People, money, data and technology, with some overlap among the four. Here we’ll briefly cover our predictions for the challenges heads of finance will likely face in the coming year. Challenge 1: Attracting and Retaining Talent Finding new ways to thrive despite a very tight labor market continues to plague businesses overall in 2020. But the finance department is discovering that it’s increasingly challenging to find people to build out their teams. Ten years ago, the three areas finance hires were judged on were accounting, auditing, and...

Case Study: Detroit Zoological Society

Case Study: Detroit Zoological Society

Finding a partner with the same set of values led the Detroit Zoological Society to Paycor. “When we evaluate partners, it’s important to find someone with the same cultural fit as our organization. Paycor treats us as a partner, not a client". - Robert Schumaker, Director of Finance Why the Detroit Zoological Society Left Their HR and Payroll Provider The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability. A staple in the Detroit community for 91 years, the DZS employs up to 500 workers during peak season to serve thousands of visitors each year. But when their previous provider failed to deliver responsive and accurate customer service, they...