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From Traditionalists to Generation Z: Navigating the Multigenerational Workforce

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

Generational diversity in the workplace is at its highest level ever: five generations work alongside each other at organizations across the country. Because of the potential for broad ranges of workplace experiences and preferences, HR must identify ways to keep diverse groups of employees motivated and engaged.

Finding common themes among generations can inform an organization's objectives. Fashioning policies that speak to the greatest numbers of employees may lead to improved retention rates and increased employee satisfaction.

However, as members of a particular generation (e.g., "Millennials") comprise a larger proportion of the overall workforce, it is important that an organization continue to consider the needs and preferences of members of other generations in order to treat all employees in a balanced manner. This consistency is crucial because older workers enjoy various protections from discrimination at the federal, state and local levels.

During this time of generational workplace diversity, employers must abandon a "one size fits all" approach in favor of a range of offerings that will appeal to different groups of workers. Four areas are particularly relevant to employers in this regard: workplace flexibility; compensation and benefits; continuous feedback; and technology and innovation.