What Am I Going To Do When I Grow Up?

Harnessing the Skills of a Multigenerational Workforce

Posted on: August 27, 2009

From:  Marston, C. (2007). Motivating the ‘what’s in it for me? Workforce: manage across the generational divide and increase profits.  Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

So what will it take to harness the skills of a multigenerational workforce?  What are today’s requirements for leading young people who see Baby Boomers as outdated and out of touch?  It will take:

·         A new understanding of what employees want from their jobs, their bosses, and their workplace experience.

·         A new understanding of loyalty – how the word has changed, why it changed, and why pay benefits, and opportunities for promotion are not nearly as important in creating job loyalty as they used to be.

·         A new definition of ‘self’ – that young employees today define themselves by who they are outside the job, not by what they do for a living, which is a departure from senior generations.

·         A new behavior from leaders in the workplace who must realize that younger generations enter the workplace seeing self-fulfillment from the get-go and aren’t interested in paying their dues for an unknown period of time.

·         A new comprehension that youth today remain in their youth much longer than ever before, being able to live at home longer, stay in school longer, get married later, and have children later, which dramatically affects their commitment to the workplace (Marston, 2007, p.10).

From:  Marston, C. (2007). Motivating the ‘what’s in it for me? Workforce: manage across the generational divide and increase profits.  Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

So what will it take to harness the skills of a multigenerational workforce?  What are today’s requirements for leading young people who see Baby Boomers as outdated and out of touch?  It will take:

·         A new understanding of what employees want from their jobs, their bosses, and their workplace experience.

·         A new understanding of loyalty – how the word has changed, why it changed, and why pay benefits, and opportunities for promotion are not nearly as important in creating job loyalty as they used to be.

·         A new definition of ‘self’ – that young employees today define themselves by who they are outside the job, not by what they do for a living, which is a departure from senior generations.

·         A new behavior from leaders in the workplace who must realize that younger generations enter the workplace seeing self-fulfillment from the get-go and aren’t interested in paying their dues for an unknown period of time.

·         A new comprehension that youth today remain in their youth much longer than ever before, being able to live at home longer, stay in school longer, get married later, and have children later, which dramatically affects their commitment to the workplace (Marston, 2007, p.10).

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