Managing the Multigenerational Mix: How to Lead Your Diverse Team to Success

As I’ve mentioned before, in 2018 I am eager to make “progress” on my goal of creating more products and services for my community, and that’s why I’m so excited about this webinar. And the topic couldn’t be more timely.

We are truly in uncharted waters, as today’s business leaders are faced with integrating five different generations of employees. Leadership in this multigenerational workforce requires understanding how to manage both up and down an organization, while ensuring everyone feels included and appreciated.

Below I share the three key shifts in leadership styles necessary for “managing the mix.” What I find most interesting is that while these changes were spurred by the rise of millennials, they have been appreciated by all generations.

I’ll cover these three shifts in far more detail during the webinar, which is going to be packed with advice and examples, but here is a preview, and a few quick homework exercises, that will get you in the multigenerational-mix mindset.

Multigenerational Shift #1: From “Command and Control” to “Coaching”

Then: Do As You Are Told               

Now: Express Yourself

It used to be that parents parented, teachers taught and coaches…well, coaches usually yelled. But with the rise of the millennial generation, the trend has evolved toward a softer approach — one where everyone from parents to teachers, and, yes, coaches and bosses, have begun to move from an authoritative style to a collaborative one, focusing on support and training rather than punishment or shaming.

Make it work for you!

This week, could you:

  • Give one minute of specific feedback to each member of your team?

Multigenerational Shift #2: From “Uniformity” to “Customization and Variety”

Then: Any Color…As Long As It’s Black

Now: Have It Your Way

From Build-a-Bear to Cold Stone, off-the-shelf is out, and one-of-a-kind is in. What does that mean for managers? Your team no longer wants to follow the same career trajectory that everyone else does or have the exact same benefits. One size now fits none.

Make it work for you!

This week, could you:

  • Ask each team member what small perk — a Starbucks or iTunes gift card, an afternoon off, a new bullet journal — they would like for their birthday?

Multigenerational Shift #3: From “Need-To-Know Basis” To “Access And Transparency”

Then: “That Information Is Above Your Pay Grade”

Now: “Follow Us on Twitter!”

The newest generations in your office grew up having computers in their pockets with instant access to virtually any piece of information in the world available at all times. This means that knowing the “what” is no longer exciting, so the “why” is even more important. Rather than just telling your team what to do, tell them why it’s important. Millennials and Gen Zs will expect to know as much as possible; Traditionalists, Boomers and Xers will see this as a fantastic bonus.

For example: “We need to be here at 6 a.m. to answer the phone in Seattle, because it’s 9 a.m. at our client’s office in New York and our mission is to put our clients first.” “Because” is an incredibly powerful word to promote buy-in.

Make it work for you!

This week, could you:

  • Host an “Ask Me Anything” round table where members of your team can find out more about why your business runs the way it does?

Ready to learn more? Watch the webinar below for actionable advice on how leaders can manage the generational “mix” and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities today’s cross-generational workforce offers.

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Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


Learn 25 Practical Ways to Manage Across Generations