How to Manage the Next Generations in Today’s Workforce

Tulsa Payroll Services


Getting to know the next generation through employee coaching

Even with the departure of the Baby boomer generation, employers often have four generations working together in the work force. The Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University estimates that by 2018 there could be more than five million unfilled jobs in the United States. Today nearly one-third of the total U.S. workforce (32%) is age 50 or older. So it will be important to understand how to lead and manage the next generation of workers.

Research tells us that there are five generations in our country.

Some may have different names, but for the sake of this short discussion let’s use these:

  • Traditionalists – born before 1945
  • Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X – born between 1965 -1980
  • Millennials or the Y generation – born between 1981 – 1999
  • Generation Z – born between 1999 and 2007 (the next young employment group)

This article can’t begin to give you all the strategies on how to manage these groups but we wanted to at least give you a few ideas. We have listed the preferences and styles of the three largest groups currently in the workforce in the following table.



Baby Boomers

Gen X

Gen Y

Work Style

  • Want to have fun
  • Internet savvy
  • Independent
  • Struggles with work life balance
  • Multi-takers
  • Leadership by consensus
  • Like face to face contact


  • Internet savvy
  • Like to take risks
  • View work as Job not a career
  • Saw the tech growth, want high pay and ownership
  • Need mentoring
  • Email or voicemail


  • Hard working
  • Need technology
  • Job jumpers-ambitious
  • Job must offer personal fulfillment
  • Loyal to a point
  • Leadership by achievers
  • Texts, IM, blogs, and social media communication styles

Life Style

  • Enjoys the outdoors
  • Eats out a lot
  • Shops online
  • Appearance conscious
  • The “Me” generation 
  • Healthy food and life style
  • Materialistic
  • Very media savvy
  • Use social media
  • The MTV generation


  • Have multiple iPads, phones and tech tools
  • Volunteers
  • Active
  • The gaming generation 



Offer part time options
Get them into mentoring with Gen.Y & X.
Offer extended healthcare options



Develop leadership skills
Offer flexible schedules
Invest in education
Have written job descriptions
Offer regular feedback
Use social media
Create emotional connections
Offer regular rewards


Offer training and growth opportunities
Remote work opportunities’
Invest in education
Have written job descriptions
Offer regular feedback
Use social media
Create emotional connections
Offer regular rewards


Social Messages

Anything is possible
Change the world
Work and play well with others

Question everything
Visual is important 

Serve others
You are special
Connect with everyone all the time

Leading the next generations will be a challenging and rewarding function for owners and managers.

Enhanced technology will enable you to connect, communicate and hire the right person for your organization. View the generational differences as strengths, and it will allow you to bring the best out of your team!

Resources used for the article:

  • Lee Hecht Harrison
  • CPA Trendlines
  • WorkForce Central Florida
  • SHRM
  • AARP
  • Meghan M. Biro, Forbes




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