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The Multigenerational Workforce

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

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 the best ways to keep diverse groups of employees motivated and engaged.

Generational diversity offers various opportunities for managers and supervisors, including:

  • Possibilities of increased collaboration among workers;
  • Greater opportunities for coaching and development;
  • Continued assessment and improvement of performance management and feedback processes; and
  • Increased focus on technology and connectivity as a greater proportion of the workforce are digital natives.

However, generational diversity may also lead to employee relations challenges, including:

  • Competing workplace values and priorities among workers;
  • Millennials rising through the ranks more quickly than other generations did before them;
  • Gen Xers possibly resenting Millennials' demand for greater perks and more frequent recognition; and
  • Greater demands for workplace flexibility across generations.

The following chart highlights the approximate ages, nicknames, characteristics and values of the five generations in the workplace. Employers may use this chart to become better acquainted with the differences within the multigenerational workforce.