Leveraging Multi-Generations in the Workplace

Leading and working with teams with multiple generations might be new for you, and you need to know how to work with them. You might be in the federal government space or desire to work with the federal government on some level. No matter where your organization is at, utilizing people of different generations requires intentionally.

According to research done by AARP, 7 out of 10 adults want to be in a multi-generational environment. Around 90 million American millennials are over half of the workforce, and they will become 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Gen X and Baby Boomers are still in the workforce, and Gen Z is now entering the workforce. So, it is plausible that you are currently dealing with all four generations in your work environment. It can be a bit chaotic, or perhaps in your situation, chaotic is an understatement. The facts are that these generations see things differently, work differently, and have different values that motivate them to be their best at work. If you have found collaboration to be tense and challenging with these generational gaps, I hope some of this article’s ideas can help. I have a longer podcast going more in-depth, which you can find here.

7 out of 10 adults want to be in a multi-generational environment.

Before I give some tips on directly improving relations with multi-generations, I want to provide some general do’s and don’ts.

• Do

– Listen to what they need and give it to them.

– Become more curious than skeptical (within reason, of course).

– Focus more on the client/customer than the interpersonal issues

• Don’t

– Allow the stereotypes between the generations to affect how you manage them.

– Lose sight of intentionality

– Be scared to shift your leadership style

Given the numbers above, it proves that different generations actually want to work with one another. Keep these general do’s and don’ts in mind, and they will not forget that they want to be together. Keep them together, and your organization will remember that you were a catalyst to growing a successful team.

Here are five tips to improving relations with a multi-generational team.

1. Have a just cause

In his book The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek outlines that a just cause is a difference between organizations that stand the test of time and those that don’t. Every generation is motivated by causes. A just cause that will outlive every generation is a cause that will connect to any generation.

2. Connect them to shared goals

Helping your team connect to how they achieve together is directly correlated to their focus on the client. When they reach a goal together, they will realize that it is true that increased engagement as a team produces 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability, according to Gallup research.

3. Grow in curiosity

There isn’t a person on this planet in the workforce that doesn’t want to learn and grow. But don’t just put another training course in their face. Instead, engage them with curiosity to unlock their interest. The more curious we are, the more we learn. The more we learn, the more we grow!

4. Choose Coaching over Bossing

Millennials specifically are much more interested in flat leadership styles. Other styles will drive them away from your team. A coaching approach will challenge them to increase their confidence and productivity, creating intrinsic motivation.

5. Promote well-being

Well-being correlates to health. We all want healthy careers, healthy bank accounts, and healthy working relationships. We all desire to be healthy! If we are healthy, we produce more at work.

Multi-generational teams are the way of the future. Our world is becoming more collaborative and focused on who is or is not on the team. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are about more than race and gender. Multi-generational team success is all about growing in a world that is rapidly increasing in variety.


Lyle Tard
Lyle Tard
Lyle Tard has recently completed a 20-year honorable commitment in service to his country and is now a retired United States Air Force member as of 31 January 2020. He has obtained his undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Arizona Global College and is completing his certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. As a communicator, Lyle has spoken worldwide inside and out of the military community. He has motivated young adults at institutions such as Atlanta Leadership College, Triton College, South Eastern University, American University, Georgetown University, Harvard Business School, and his alma mater, University of Arizona Global College. Lyle has consulted leaders in the city and federal government in Washington D.C. in organizational effectiveness and trained C-Suite level executives from coast to coast in companies like UST Global. Just as in his time with the Air Force, Lyle takes pride in leading the next generation of world changers. From universities to businesses to churches, Lyle's passion is to influence the world to realize that "Leaders lead best when they serve." Now, Lyle has taken all these skills into the world of coaching. As a graduate of the Health and Wellness Coaching program through Georgetown University, Lyle seeks to assist emerging leaders to become whole as a Life, Transition, & Wellness Coach. He currently serves as Operations Director with Critical Path Associates, an organization built to create pathways of legacy and success through leadership development, IT solutions, and organizational wellness.

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