Intergenerational Diversity in the Workplace: Managing to Obtain the Maximum Potential of Employees

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Intergenerational Diversity in the Workplace:
Managing to Obtain the Maximum Potential of Employees
Carol L. Lott
November 25, 2010
Fall 2010

Diversity is defined as the state of being diverse, different and possessing unlikeness. Intergenerational is defined as of, pertaining to, or for individuals in different generations or age groups. Therefore Intergenerational Diversity would be the state of being diverse, different or possessing unlikeness as it pertains to individuals of different generations or age categories. The passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced employers and employees to not only acknowledge that differences existed but discouraged employers from using these differences solely as the basis for making employment decisions. DEMOGRAPHICS

As the number of persons entering the workforce increases every year, the number of generations that are represented also increase. The current workforce is comprised of four very distinct groups: * Veterans (a.k.a. Traditionalists, Silents, Loyalists)

* Baby Boomers (a.k.a. Boomers, Sandwich generation)
* GenExers (a.k.a. Generation X)
* Nexters (a.k.a Millenials)
Each generation possesses a unique skill set, personality traits and work ethic. To say that it is difficult to effectively manage such a diverse base of employees would be an oversimplified observation. As organizations struggle to balance their budgets, retain their top talent, implement succession plans, maintain or expand their market share or competitive advantage, finding a balance has become critical. Many studies have in fact proven that failure to proactively prepare for any of the actions listed above will have an adverse impact on the organization, its employees and ultimately its customers. The chart below lists just a few of the qualities/traits that each group possesses.

Source: SHRM Generational Differences Survey Report1

Diversity is...
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