Managing the Multigenerational Mix: How to Lead Your Diverse Team to Success | Lindsey Pollak's Blog

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.

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.

  1. Nick Tankersley says:

    When it comes to talking about managing different generations in the workplace, it can become extremely tricky quickly. When you have a mix of three, four or even five different generations in a workplace you have a lot of different personalities, values and ways of thought from very different age groups. Like she stated in the video people that are from baby boomers pretty much grew up in a whole different world than someone who grew up in the millennial generation and therefore there becomes many different trains of thoughts and behaviors. It is imperative that a company has good managers in place that know how to deal with different generations in the workplace and utilize what they are good at for the companies benefit but also try and keep the peace between the different generations. While baby boomers may think the old way is better the millennial might think of something new and more efficient yet baby boomers do not want to change the old way. This is just one of many problems that can arise and that is why it is important to have a managers that knows how to manage different generations in the same workplace.

  2. sdasdsadsadasSpencer Ferguson says:

    With all that is happening in the workforce, I think this video perfect examines the differences in our generations and how each generation has a different style/attitude based on the situations they grew up with. As someone who has to work with a variety of generations (mostly those from Generation X and Y) this helped me better understand how to handle people from different generations and where they are coming from. As for the leadership toolbox, I do think that feedback should be welcomed as long as it’s done in a none hostile way (presentation is key for a lot of things in life). While I’m not a fan of the naming “invite apprenticeship” it is a very important key to success as it provides a role model to people wanting to know more about their workplace and possibly opens them up to a path to some form of leadership/higher up role with wherever they work. I also think it’s important for everyone in a workplace (or in general) is to be open to communication because if there isn’t communication between employees and other employees and also their management it will lead to a lot of conflict and a unproductive work environment; which is why it’s important for team building experiences so everyone working together can enjoy and trust each other in the work place. And lastly I do believe that a “Thank you” goes a long way as it shows appreciation for anything that I could’ve done no matter how big or small the action was, and it makes me happy and want to do more positive actions.

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