One of the most important and complex issues of the future is the multigenerational workforce. For the first time in our history, our workforce is composed of 5 generations: Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials (Gen Y), Digital Natives (Gen Z). Each generation has encountered different experiences, shaping how they interact with others and their world.

The reason why this issue is important is because it involves multiple cultures. Intercultural communication can be difficult for even the must interculturally competent individuals. Interacting with others cultures we aren’t very knowledgeable about, can be uncomfortable.

We generate stereotypes, prejudices, and biases based on the limited knowledge we have about other cultures. This causes interactions to be messy and complicated.

Because each generation has slightly different ideas, communication styles, and even work styles the multigenerational workforce requires a new type of leader.

The Leader of Tomorrow must:

Understand the needs, wants, and desires of all generations…

Understand the types of leaderships styles, as well as the leader’s own dominant style…

Understand the communication preferences of each generation…

Understand how to enhance the productivity of a multigenerational workforce…

Understand how to engage a multigenerational workforce…

This may seem like a difficult situation to deal with but the solution is actually very easy and very practical.

Leaders must learn about each of their followers, team members, or subordinates.

Leaders are getting so wrapped up in generational characteristics that they miss the lesson!

Multigenerational workforces are forcing leaders to value the individual.

Multigenerational workforces are forcing leaders to enhance their communication skills.

Most importantly multigenerational workforces are forcing leaders to interact and engage their workforces and teams.

Soon, it will be detrimental to a businesses or organizations health or existence if they treat their teams, subordinates, or followers as just numbers instead of individuals.

Leaders have to understand the needs of its individuals before they can create an engaged and productive environment. Each individual is complex, a mixture of different generations, experiences, and motive for working.

A leader’s most important job is to understand each individual and incorporate the individual’s needs, wants, desires, ideas, and motives into the vision and goals of the leader.

In short, today’s leader must address the multigenerational workforce by not only understanding the different generations but also learning about the individual. If leaders want to be successful in the future they will make sure each member of their team has some skin in the game

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