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Multiple generations are best managed with acceptance

The face of the American workplace has changed as the number of generations represented there continues to grow. Currently, the workforce is made up of members ranging from the Baby Boom generation (those at or nearing retirement) all the way to “Generation Y” (those fresh out of college), which can make managing employees a challenge. Chances are that you will find a “one size fits all” approach to employee management does not suffice.

“Employers should try not to fall into the perhaps ‘over-hyped’ stereotyping of each generation,” said Manny Avramidis, senior vice president of Global Human Resources for American Management Association, in an interview with CCH, a Wolters Kluwer Company. “Instead, they should build a strong culture that includes having an effective management foundation that all generations can appreciate.”

So, how is a culture that focuses on individual needs and strives to achieve a balance that is satisfactory to the department and the overall business created? Well, according to Avramidis, the following nine elements are key:

The “pain” Dr. Crawshaw is referring to is not the “pain” of actually engaging in work (e.g., the “pain” resulting from weak wages, bleak benefits, bad schedules, etc.) or working for a boss who is faced with the difficult decision to cut programs, pay or people based on business necessity. Instead, Dr. Crawshaw is referring to the “pain” suffered from direct contact with an abrasive boss and the emotional wounds sustained from direct interpersonal aggression experienced in day-to-day interactions with abrasive bosses. ...

Cater to each generation. HR has been talking about it for years: when the Baby Boomers begin retiring, there will be more employees exiting the workforce than there are entering. Avramidis says the best way to prepare for what could become a tricky situation is to remember that, “Flexibility is key.”

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