Retaining a Multigenerational Workforce

Shawnee Love   •  
July 9, 2010

With all I have written on retaining employees, I haven’t said much about the elephant in the room that is the fact that we are dealing with a workforce with four different generations in it.

Do the four generations add complexity?  You bet.

Should you treat the generations differently? Nope. Not if you have programs and policies that are designed well.

The reason I say that is because although the four generations seemingly want different things, if you go deeper, you will realize they are really all talking about the same stuff.  It just manifests differently in each generation.

So for example, all generations want flexibility, but Gen Y might want to leave early on Fridays to enjoy long weekends away, Gen X might want to work from home to reduce commute time, Baby Boomers might need to leave on short notice to deal with an again parent, and Traditionalists might want to gradually reduce their hours as a step into retirement.  Very different requests, with the same need at the base.

Just one person’s opinion, but I have seen it work. What do you think?