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Leading Intergenerational Teams

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Leading Intergenerational Teams

Workspace demographics now span four generations. A twenty-something hired this year can expect to find that they working with colleagues who are older than they are by fifty or more years. The reason for this is primarily due to labor shortages for trained personnel in many industries. In addition, many older workers are now delaying retirement due for economic or other reasons. Many of the baby boomer generation can now be expected to delay retirement into their seventies. (Randstad USA)

As you will learn, an inter-generational workforce provides many opportunities and challenges. While generational differences can and do lead to frustration, conflicts and poor morale, they do not have to. This section of the handbook will help you to better understand effective methods for leading and working with intergenerational teams. You will see that the differences brought to the mix by different generations can lead to increased productivity, creativity and success. In addition, you will understand the programs and benefits offered to enhance and optimize the benefits of maintaining an inter-generational workforce.

Defining the Generations

In an article published in the Journal for Quality and Participation, Gesell provides the following definitions of the generations.

The Silent Generation. Born between 1925 and 1945, this group values hard work, conformity, dedication, sacrifice and patience. They are comfortable with delayed recognition and reward.

The Baby Boomer Generation. Born between 1946 and 1964, this group are optimistic and team oriented. They place a high value on their work ethic while also seeking personal gratification and growth.

Generation X. This is the group born between 1965 and 1980. They are self-reliant, global thinkers who value fun, balance and informality.

Millennials. This group was...

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