Thoughts on new challenges for managers in regards to Age Diversity
Age diversity is a reality in today’s workplace, and will only increase in the future. Workplace demographics are shifting, and the number of mature workers will steadily increase in the years to come. US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Today’s workforce spans four generation: Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Generation Xers and Millennial. As mature adults remain employed, we increasingly need to understand the strength and challenges inherent in multigenerational workplace and find ways to leverage age diversity.
The reality, according to research, is that generations are different in some ways, but similar in many more. More gap than chasm, generation difference has subtle impact, not the dramatic conflicts portrayed in the popular press. Research by Jennifer Deal, Author of Retiring the Generation gap.
Clearly, managing a ...view middle of the document...
Taken this view on the face value, these stereotypes can lead to conflict and turmoil in the workplace. Lancaster, Lynne when generations collide. Studies has shown that older worker are receptive to change, technology and equally as productive as the younger worker. Robbins & Judge.
Effective managers are aware that certain skills are necessary for creating a successful workplace. Although there are generational similarities, what inspires workplace achievement differs with every individual. That is to say, no two employees in any age category respond identically to the same management style and motivation to achieve their personal best. For managers, it is particularly challenging to supervise a diverse workforce that is significantly younger and older than the managers themselves.
The most profound challenge is managing the work/life balance of a multi-generational workforce because with each of these generations, it means sometime different when refer to work/life. So making sure that the balance is broad enough to blanket all of the generations is critical to keeping everyone balanced. According to Michael Hiffa, Vice President of Human Resources with Jackson Healthcare, the managers ability to offer different generations to enjoy opportunities outside the office that bring them together as a corporate family, and scheduling social and recreational events throughout the year that will build rapport among persons of different ages is certainly beneficial.
In conclusion, there is no single recipe for success. It depends mainly on the manager’s ability to understand what is best for the organization based on teamwork and the dynamics of the workplace. According to Roosevelt (2001), managing age diversity is a comprehensive process for creating a work environment that includes everyone.
Devoe, Deborah (1999) Managing a diverse workforce, San Mateo, Robbins, S & Judge T (2013) Organizational Behavior, Deal Jennifer (2006). Retiring the Generation Gap: How employees’ young and Old can find common ground. Rooselvet Thomas, R Jr. (2001) Elements of a successful Diversity process. United States Department of Labor, July 2008