RT Vol XVI: Generations: Ch 8
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XVI: Generations: Strategies for Managing Generations in the Work Force


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.