Generational Management: Fact or Fiction?

Relying solely on generational divides to determine what employees really need may provide employers with false information 

Some HR experts indicate there are now up to five generations working side by side in the workplace. And, if headlines are any indication, employers are concerned about how to address these generations’ varying needs.

Consider this January 2019 CBC News headline: “With four generations in the workplace, employers expected to juggle vastly different expectations.” Or the 2016 Robert Half Management Resources survey in which CFOs indicated that communication skills, adapting to change and technical expertise were the top three differences among employees from different generations.

Traditionalists are motivated by money but also want to be respected.
Preferred recognition style: subtle, personalized recognition and feedback.
Welcomed benefits: long-term care insurance, catch-up retirement funding.
Illustration by Society for Human Resource Management.

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Youth showing the "loser" sign.

The Young Ones

The older generation always has something to say about the generations that come after it. Surprisingly, this is not just a modern-day development. 

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Written By

Brooke Smith is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor.


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