Leadership Tips for Attracting, Engaging and Retaining a Multigenerational Workforce

Excellent workforce engagement advice from our generous sponsor!

TriNet, the cloud-based HR solutions firm, is a generous sponsor of SMCLA’s November panel on Social Customer Service.

For the first time in modern history, workplace demographics now span four generations, meaning that 20-year-old new hires can find themselves working side by side with colleagues who are older than they are by 50 years (or even more).

The oldest, more experienced workers (those born before 1946) are beginning to gradually exit the workforce taking with them vast amounts of knowledge and skill. Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946−1964 and comprising approximately 41 percent of today’s workforce) are quickly becoming the aging population. An estimated 70 million Baby Boomers, many of them with significant power in organizations, will retire by 2014 leaving shortages of employees to fill high-level professional, managerial and technical positions.

Generation X (those born between 1965−1977 and comprising 29 percent of today’s workforce), and Generation Y (those born in 1978 or later and 24 percent of the workforce) will become dominant participants in the working environment, likely introducing new work norms and values. The transformation of the workforce will impact the traditional roles that each generational segment plays. Generations X and Y, for example, will become the primary service providers, while Baby Boomers will become the primary customers.

Historically, today’s workplace is the most diverse with respect to age that has ever existed. Each of the four generations has very different attitudes and perspectives about working. Hence, as they jostle over positions there will be some challenges as each group attempts to build cooperative and mutually satisfying working relationships.

Adding to these challenges is the unavoidable fact that we will soon see the emergence of a fifth generation.

As work paradigms and technologies change, an even wider gap may emerge between generations. Here are some important questions you need to consider:

  • What will this mean to your organization?
  • What is the generational mix of your organization?
  • How will you leverage the unique strengths of each generation in order to retain your key players, improve productivity and maximize teamwork?
  • Are your managers prepared to lead multiple generations?

When managed effectively, strengths, perspectives, and experiences can bring synergy in the workplace. As a leader, understanding yourself and how your underlying values and characteristics mold your views is paramount to managing multiple generations in the workplace.

Understanding generational influences and characteristics that have been researched and reported by various authors can help you to understand why employees may not be connecting in the workplace.

Although the exact birth dates defining the generations may vary depending on the research source, they are generally broken down into the following distinct groups. When considering the characteristics of each generation, it should be understood that demographics are generalizations that point to trends rather than finite data facts.

Traditionalists, Silent, Veterans…………………..Born between1927 – 1945

Baby Boomers………………………………………..Born between1946 – 1964

Generation X or Xers……………….Born between 1965 and the early 1980s

Generation Y, Millennial, Echo Boomers………Born between1981 – 2000

Gen 2020………………………………………………….Born after 2000

So, why should leaders care if employees from different generations respect and understand each other? When generations fail to communicate or work together effectively, it impacts the organization’s bottom line. Turnover rates and tangible costs such as recruitment, hiring, training, and retention can be negatively impacted. Morale may also suffer which can result in increased complaints and perceptions of unfair treatment or inequity.

Good leaders need to recognize the workplace characteristics and personal desires of each individual. They need to use these traits effectively in order to drive company performance and achieve organizational goals. Fostering retention begins by attracting the best talent, implementing strategies for actively engaging the workforce, and learning what makes employees perform at the highest levels.

Best Practices

  • Identify generational gaps and commonalties, along with communication barriers
  • Implement policies and programs that will allow each individual to contribute to their full potential
  • Review recruiting policies to ensure that you are using social media to attract the best talent (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Utilize innovative training methods, such as mentoring and peer-to-peer learning, to accelerate knowledge transfer across the organization
  • Ask employees what they need to be most effective on the job
  • Ensure leaders have the knowledge and skills needed to communicate effectively with all employees
  • Develop an effective and robust succession plan

Whether you text, tweet or actually talk on your mobile or office phone, remember that each of the generations should be valued for the diverse skills, mindsets and perspectives they bring to the workplace. Thoroughly understanding the unique social, political and environmental influences that have shaped their workplace behaviors, values and beliefs is instrumental in creating cohesive and productive work teams and employees.

Don’t Miss the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective’s 3rd Annual National LifeStyle Blogger Conference in April

SMCLA_I'm a LLBloggerJoin the 3rd Annual National Lifestyle Blogger Conference & Junket (#LALLBLOG13), the first national conference of its kind, April 25 – 27, in downtown L.A.

Enjoy a full weekend of inspirational speakers, trend-setting lifestyle workshops, and business networking with lifestyle bloggers passionate about fashion, beauty, travel, cooking, entertainment, and more. Anyone interested in growing their blogging business should be a part of #LALLBLOG13.

The conference begins Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. and runs through Saturday, April 27, at 5 p.m. at the trendy Cooper Design Space in downtown Los Angeles.

Highlights this year include:

  • “From Blogger to Brand” – a series of lifestyle focused workshops to help you grow personally and professionally
  • Outside activities with lifestyle brands
  • Tour of L.A.-based locations
  • Personal and business development opportunities will be a discussed amongst our working-blogger member base
  • On-site brand and product showcase for brand engagement

For the complete conference and junket agenda, click here.

NOTE: A limited number of conference tickets will be sold by presale only and are not available at the door. Buy your ticket here.

Follow on Twitter: @LatinaLifeStyle and use the hashtags: #llblog  #llblog13

Cooper Design Space Jerell Scott Fashion Runway.
Cooper Design Space Jerell Scott Fashion Runway.

To learn more about the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective or to join the curated community, visit http://www.llbloggers.com. Contact info@llbloggers.com to learn more about event sponsorship opportunities.

LALLBLOG13 is a collaboration with Southern California Lady Bloggers and Blog Trends.

Thanks to Lisa Rocha, LLBlog member & CEO/ilaments, for reporting and additional writing for this post.

Help Us Help People In Need (Invisible People)

IP_invisiblepeople_twlogoIf you’ve been following us on social media, you’ll know that all profits from tomorrow night’s Holiday/Meet the Bloggers event are going to a good cause. We’re helping people in need, namely the homeless with help from our charity of choice, Invisible People.

We’re working to pack 80 stockings for 80 homeless individuals for the holidays. IP is headed to the Glendale Winter Shelter, one of the 19 winter shelters set up by the LA Homeless Services Authority. Data in 2011 showed over 23,000 people were homeless in Los Angeles, most of them between the ages of 25-54. These folks are our peers. I could be one of them. You could be one of them. My mom could be one of them. In all of LA County, there are over 51,000 homeless people. This year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number went up. Regardless, 51,000+ is a lot of people without shelter, a steady job, warm clothes, and food.

Check out Mark’s latest blog post on the Glendale Winter Shelter and how you can help!

Mark Horvath, the founder of Invisible People, has been working tirelessly, not just in the US, but in London recently. He’s back from his trip and will be attending our event. If you’d like to get involved with IP or just meet Mark, tomorrow’s the right time. You can follow him on @invisiblepeople and @hardlynormal.

We’re almost sold out of tickets for tomorrow’s event. There will be some at-the-door tickets available at $15 if you’re a procrastinator. If you’d like to donate directly to IP, please click here.

To sweeten the deal, if you bring an unwrapped item or items (value $10 or more) to our event, you’re entered into a raffle drawing for some great prizes from some of our sponsors and donors. Prizes like an AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, Sebamed skincare, and more! Mark’s got the list on his blog, and so do we:


What Do SMCLA & Katy Perry Have in Common? popchips!

popchips - @popchips
popchips – @popchips

Meet our sponsor popchips! If you haven’t had a popchip before, now’s your chance. The fine people at popchips are supplying December 18 guests with a bag to try (or take home).

If you’re health-conscious and flavor-conscious, you just might like popchips. They’re not fried or baked, so you don’t eat chips laden with oil or tasteless like cardboard. The potato slices are… popped! Watch their video and learn more on their website. If you’re not a potato fan, have no fear, popchips came out with tortilla chips!

popchips image twitter
popchips – @popchips

If you’ve had their chips, tell us in the comments your favorite flavor! Mine is the old school “original potato.”

As for that question about SMCLA and Katy Perry? She’s their new ‘popstar’.

Grab a bag at our December 18 Holiday/Meet the Bloggers event. We’re pretty much sold out and only at-the-door tickets are available at $15. All profits will go to Invisible People, a nonprofit whose mission is to make invisible people visible.

See you there!

Say Hello to Coupa Cafe, a Sponsor of Dec 18’s Meet the Bloggers Event!

Coupa Cafe - @coupacafe
Coupa Cafe – @coupacafe

Yeah yeah we’ve got specialty liqeur Lovoka coming, we’ve got DAMA Tequila coming… but what about a drink for the caffeine fans, like me? Have no fear, SMCLA members and guests – Coupa Cafe is swooping to our rescue and serving coffee at our December 18 Holiday/Meet the Bloggers event!

A longtime sponsor and supporter of SMBLA, Coupa Cafe is a family-owned business serving Venezuelan cuisine… and great coffee! The Coupa family works directly with the coffee farmers in Venezuela which ensures that they will receive fair trade prices for their coffee production.   They now have several locations in the US including Stanford, Palo Alto, and of course, here in So Cal – Beverly Hills.

Looking down from the second floor - Coupa Cafe
Looking down from the second floor – Coupa Cafe
Photo source: Coupa Cafe Facebook Page
Photo source: Coupa Cafe Facebook Page

Coupa Cafe has been hosting SMBLA events for a long time. I attended one earlier this year featuring our colleague Natalie Petouhoff, and I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of getting to Coupa Cafe on a weekday morning. (You know I hate parking issues.) There are no parking problems – plenty of parking lots and underground parking abound in the area.

If you haven’t been to Coupa, that’s ok. They’re coming to us next week at our Holiday event! We’re practically sold out. At-the-door tickets are still available at $15 and all profits are going to Invisible People, a nonprofit helping to make homeless people visible.

Meet the folks behind Coupa Cafe next week, savor their coffee, and then visit them in Beverly Hills!