The Refractive Thinker® Vol XVI: Generations: Strategies for Managing Generations in the Work Force
The Refractive Thinker Press 2019
Number of Pages:


Authors Call: Spring 2019. Publish date: April 11, 2019
Join Foreword writer, Dr. Greg Reid and contributing scholars as they discuss research on effective management of multiple
generations in the work force, from Baby Boomers to Generations X, Y, and Z. The focus is on each of the generation’s unique and diverse aspects pertaining to employment and management. This volume will continue to shape the conversation of future success in business in leadership and management of personnel to examine proven strategies for continued excellence and profitability.


RT Vol XVI: Generations: Foreword
The Power of Leadership
"In the end, our own success will be measured by the
accomplishments that we have helped create in OTHERS."
-Dr. Greg S. Reid
Each generation brings their unique style to share their gifts with the world. With millennials in particular, this new generation asks us to challenge what we know, to really think in ways no other generation has of yet to solve new problems we face. They bring fresh perspective, with a new way of looking at things, particularly in this digital age. Yes, new generations will shake things up a bit and that’s a good thing to get us all out of our comfort zones. If you change the way you think, your life changes.

Rest included in book . . .
Generations: Ch 1 Millennial Indemnity to Ensure Leaders for Tomorrow: #LaisseznotLazy
Risk mitigation requires an investigative or refractive thinking mindset that looks to answer the who, what, and why that pertain to a specific problem needing a solution. Generational leaders are those organizational leaders currently charged with or will shortly be responsible for managing human capital from varying ends of the generational spectrum. For these generational leaders, the growing presence of Millennials and a lack of effective leadership succession plans remains a problem. The most pertinent risks are an increase in Millennial employee mobility and incidences of voluntary turnover. As a result, some organizational leaders lack sufficient human capital to develop a pipeline of experienced Millennial employees for adequate leadership succession and sustainability if these risks are not proactively mitigated. Thus, this author aims to aid organizational leaders in this chapter to create mechanisms to help them adequately mitigate risk to ensure their operations against these risks through answering who are Millennials, what is the problem, and why leaders need formal leadership succession plans, laissez-faire leadership characteristics, and offer opportunities for self-governance or simply stated, #LaisseznotLazy.
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Despite the extensive research on employee turnover, human resource (HR) professionals struggle to retain employees. In the United States, the demand for registered nurses rises by 2-3% yearly, and that by the year 2025, there will be a shortage of 500,000 registered nurses (RNs) (Yang et al., 2017). The most known cause for nursing shortage is the attrition from nurses leaving the profession. Healthcare organizations register huge financial loses because of turnover. Healthcare organizations lost an estimated $1.4 to $2.1 billion each year because of RN turnover and the need to replace nurses who quit the profession (Ruiz et al., 2016). The focus of this study was to explore the factors affecting the retention of Millennials healthcare employees in nursing homes. In this chapter of the Refractive Thinker®, the author examined the relationship between job embeddedness and Millennials healthcare employees’ intention to stay with the organization. The author also shared the finding of using a quantitative, nonexperimental, and cross-sectional research design using two instruments to collect the data from 42 Millennials employees with ages between 25 and 35 years old from a rural healthcare facility in the state of Texas. The findings from the data analysis indicated that there was a negative correlation between job embeddedness and work intent, a significant correlation between job embeddedness and intent to use discretionary effort, job embeddedness and intent to stay, fit and intent to stay, sacrifice and intent to use discretionary, sacrifice and intent to perform, sacrifice and intent to stay.
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Millennials or generation Y and the Digital Natives or generation Z could transform the diverse culture of workforces in the global economy’s innovative digital enterprise, creating management implications with varied strategies for exercise of cyber-resiliency in a digitalized enterprise’s threat-landscape. Millennials (born from 1980 to 1994) and Digital Native (born from 1995 to 2012) could create cybersecurity risks, with unique cybersecurity habits when working along-side the generation X who were born between 1965 and 1979, and Baby Boomers who were born before 1965 through 1946. The achievement of security might be difficult with varying human behaviors in the cyber-domain, accounting for the emerging vulnerabilities in an integrated cyber secure workforce. Protection, defense, analysis, operational-resilience and mitigation of threats to social heterogeneity of various roles, could coordinate to mitigate information technology (IT) attacks, targeting critical infrastructure, control, and cyber-physical systems. Many generational similarities exist, posing cybersecurity risks to attribute to common habits among the four generations. Evidences for compromise might suggest probable cause for placing organizations at risk of loss from the use of public WiFi for accessing data from work to weak passwords, advanced persistent threats or watering hole attacks, and voluntarily enabling two-factor authentication. Refractive thinking in transformation of organizations’ security posture might necessitate reevaluation of non-compliant behaviors and availing training, to understand the level of security abilities and skills to strive aligning with challenges. Computer, information security, network-security, cybersecurity posture and response plan to evaluate potential risks of exposure, written cyber-policies, heterogeneity in roles, effective strategies for resilience to address relentless and well-funded exploits of vulnerability risks of cyber-attacks, insider-threats, and hacking need review and reexamination of the differentiating requirements within the workforce’ cyber-ecosystem.
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The basic tenet of diversity programming in the workplace includes the acknowledgement of, and respect for, difference. From the perspective of the employer, respect for the expression of individual diversity, this at work is most likely required and enforced. In essence “let’s all get a long.” The refractive thinker® will not be satisfied with a forced facade of integration, but instead will strive to create a workplace that thrives with an inclusive mindset that that authentically values the unique attributes of the individuals within the organization. Herein lies the true value of refractive thinking that brings to the current workplace environment. With up to five generations represented in the workplace, employing organizations can have the potential to enhance resilience at work as employees and employers thrive together with the benefit provided by exposure to age diversity among their coworkers.
Opportunities await today’s ever changing workplace as five generations of employees represented join together to shape the landscape of the future of employment. Opportunities, and questions! Do Baby Boomers find Generation X workers to be impatient, reckless, and rushed? How will Generation X and Baby Boomers get along workers view with their Millennial coworkers? Might the descriptors of Millennials be described by their coworkers of other generations as: spoiled and self-centered? Will the Generation Z group of young workers entering the workplace utilize their senior coworkers as mentors with sage advice ready to provide guidance based on their decades of experience; or will they find them to be distant, existing in silos and out of touch with the newest in technology and innovation?]
A focus on diversity and inclusion of generations in the workplace will demonstrate to employers that the best path to success includes a workforce comprised of employees with representing a variety of generations. Developing a multi-generational and resilient workforce that remains engaged and motivated towards organizational goals, presents a challenging task for any the employer of today. Generational bias has the potential to stall progress and innovation while facilitating disengagement and distance. The formation of a diverse and dedicated workforce allays the foundation for success in the workplace, which is both a possible and obtainable goal.

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Leaders need to find ways to retain top performers to gain a competitive advantage over competitors. Research indicated a link between employee turnover and supportive leadership, adequate compensation and rewards, and fair treatment (Hwang et al., 2014; Moon, 2017; Pohler & Schmidt, 2016; Shukla & Rai, 2015). Effectively reducing employee turnover in a multigenerational workplace is vital to the success of an organization. To increase the survival of their organizations in a competitive marketplace, leaders must take part in the implementations of effective employee turnover reduction strategies. As the literature indicated, leaders who support employees, use rewards to recognize superior performance, and treat their employees fairly have a positive effect on retention, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, organizational performance, and productivity. By implementing the strategies shared above and using a refractive thinking approach, leaders can effectively reduce employee turnover in a multigenerational workplace.
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Since 2010, a new paradigm of management dawned on many organizations around the world, as they face rapidly changing business realities and overwhelming availability of data (Finch, Goehring, & Marshall, 2018; Saghiri at al., 2018). Essential considerations of the new approach to management are the taming of information chaos to advance business efficiency and mitigate decision challenges, by addressing difficulties in discovering and connecting knowledge to formulate solutions for management tasks (Akpakpan, 2018). The nature of this new paradigm requires the active cognitive enablement within the organization, therefore, named the cognitive paradigm of management. Within this new paradigm, tasks of management, for example, budget planning, demand estimation, pricing, resource allocation, medical treatment planning, and many others, connect to the underlying data such that the steps, decisions, and other information requirements of the tasks are transparent enough to program support for the manager (Gupta, Kar, Baabdullah, & Al-Khowaiter, 2018). Algorithms, automation, and artificial intelligence are the key artifacts that underlie this cognitive enablement (Caputo, Cillo, & Liu, 2019). These artifacts work together to capture or gather data from multiple sources, integrate data, run the analytics, transform the results into action options, evaluate the options, and learn from the choices made to achieve defined outcome expectations (Kasemsap, 2018; Nissen, 2018; Chang et al., 2016). A significant problem facing this paradigm is that the investments companies are making fail to deliver the intended result in as much as 50% of cases costing businesses as much as $2.7 trillion in 2016 for companies in the United States (Akpakpan, 2018; Amankwah-Amoah & Adomako, 2019, Gartner, Inc, 2016). Using the refractive thinking approach to analyze the cognitive paradigm of management illuminates the challenges of the underlying digital transformation efforts and highlights the proposals to resolve them with information solutions like analytic extensions of data models for cognitive modeling, and generational diversification of the executive suite and top-management ranks at organizations.
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As of 2019, the current U.S. workforce encompasses diverse employees with 0-55 formative years of professional experience working side-by-side to achieve a common vision. Such variations in generations create disparities in employee characteristics, perceptions, expectations, and motivators. Undoubtedly, these differences present unique opportunities and challenges for 21st-century leaders across all industries. Consequently, organizational leaders wear multiple hats and balance several strategies to accommodate the different interests, needs, and contributions of various generations. As leaders strive to lead so many different generations, scholars and organizational development (OD) practitioners continue to explore how to meaningfully engage employees to maximize the intergenerational value that generational diversity offers. In this chapter of the refractive thinker series, generational characteristics, differences, values, and motivational factors provide a foundational overview of the current multigenerational workforce. Subsequent information includes a multigenerational engagement concept; workforce engagement implication to the bottom-line; inclusion practices for engaging cross-generational employees; and specific multigenerational leadership strategies to minimize conflicts and achieve cohesive success. The overarching keynote is that multigenerational workforce can be a competitive advantage when managed effectively through engagement and inclusion modalities as well as proactive leadership strategies. The information presented through refractive thinking can help 21st-century leaders leverage the strength of the current multigenerational workforce for organizational success and sustainable advantage.
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The challenge remains of the inability for schools to maintain and achieve their mission. The goal for this writing was to look at the refractive thinking perspective of asking the question of how society can help get the education back on track and back to basics to educate the current and future generations to prepare them to be productive members of society.
The public school system is stuck on a merry-go-round of failure disguised as accountability. It appears that education policy makers and professionals have fallen into the lock-step ranks of preparing students for standardized testing while neglecting the needs of students who lack the skills to pass grade-level tests. Despite the reality that students may be two, three or more grade levels behind where they should be, the school year is spent “preparing” students to take tests that data, teacher input, and common sense indicates they will not pass. Education professionals know when students lack the skills needed to pass a test, but they are mandated by the state to prepare them to test on grade level. Teachers are literally mandated BY THE SYSTEM to set students up to fail. Rather than subjecting underprepared students for a test they cannot pass, perhaps educators and policymakers could consider alternatives that meet under-resourced student’s needs by gauging growth as opposed to passing a test. Business stakeholders would never continue to tolerate such dismal results and remain in business. Why do we accept such results here?