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For the first time in history, five generations are working side by side, each with different leadership, communication and career development styles.
"It's up to you, HR, to help employees connect and cooperate. You play a huge role in making your workplace welcoming and respectful to all generations," presenter Scott Lesnick told attendees at the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition.
Successfully assimilating each generation in the workplace requires that HR professionals make time to get to know their employees, Lesnick said.
"I want you to leave your office. Now I know what people think when they see HR coming, but let them know you are just there to talk. At the same time, you also are doing reconnaissance that will help you know what's going on in your workplace."
For HR, the challenges of blending a mutigenerational workforce include:
Lesnick offered insights about each generation that can help HR create policies and practices that meet their unique needs. Here's a snapshot of each cohort:
The Silent Generation (ages 71-89):
Baby Boomers (ages 54-70):
Generation X (ages 34-53):
Generation Y, aka Millennials (ages 21-33):
Generation Z (under 20):
When seeking ways to connect employees across all generations, there are seven values that matter most to workers of every age, Lesnick said:
Lesnick urged HR professionals to develop mentoring programs in their organizations to help members of different generations coach and support one another, noting that mentoring increases employee retention and accelerates job promotion.
"What you do is vitally important in helping your workforce understand how the world of work is changing and how your workplace can respond to those changes," he said.
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