Younger managers rise in the ranks

Managing the generational mix and preferred workplace perks

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Managing generations is a challenge: What companies are doing to manage the mix

Of the managers surveyed, 75% of them agreed that managing multi-generational teams is a challenge, and 20% reported managing a mostly even mix of employees from all three generations. Some of the leading challenges identified across all generations include:

  • Different work expectations (77%)
  • Lack of comfort with younger employees managing older employees (72%)

However, more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents said their organization has made at least some effort toward alleviating the challenges in managing a generational mix. Company efforts include:

  • Work style accommodations (37%)
  • Team-building exercises (36%)
  • Generational differences training (32%)
  • Cross-generational networking (26%)
  • Tailored communications (25%)

Keeping valued employees: What companies can do to retain and engage the generational mix

Another challenge companies face with an increasingly generationally diverse workforce is determining which workplace perks are most meaningful to employees of different age groups — so they can both keep top talent and make them happy.

Some of the top perks within and across generations, and by gender, include:

  Cash is still king among all the generations and ranked first by nearly half of all respondents (49%), while benefits such as healthcare and retirement ranked first by 22%.
  Baby boomers were significantly more likely to identify benefits as the most important perk compared to younger generations (29% vs. 19% for Gen X and 17% for Gen Y).
  Flexibility is the most important workplace perk among the non-cash/benefits perks, with 18% ranking it first. Gen X said they would be more likely to walk away from their current job in the absence of day-to-day flexibility (38% vs. 33% of Gen Y and 25% of boomers). Gen X respondents also rated flexibility as the most important perk (21%) over top-notch benefits (19%).
  While women (20%) across all generations valued flexibility slightly more than men (16%), surprisingly men were more likely to say they would “walk away” from a job if day-to-day flexibility was not offered (34% men vs. 30% women). Gen X men (40%) were most likely to leave if flexibility was not offered, followed by Gen X women (37%), Gen Y men (36%) and Gen Y women (30%).
  Most respondents still work with a set schedule. However, respondents anticipate a shift in the coming years to more flexible hours, as 62% of all respondents currently work during standard office hours and only 50% expect to do so in five to 10 years. This is particularly true with Gen Y, as 64% currently work standard office hours and only 47% expect the same in five to 10 years.
  Examining another perk, Gen Y respondents were significantly more likely to rank promotions first (13%) over Gen X (5%) and boomers (4%), who may already have achieved these career milestones.
  Across all generations, women (8%) and men (7%) nearly equally valued promotions, with Gen Y women (16%) valuing them the most, followed by Gen Y men (10%).