HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development

Myths About a Multigenerational Workforce, Dispelled 

There are now five generations in the workforce.1 While some industry leaders think this causes a lot of problems and conflicting interests, a lot of research is concluding the opposite. Myths about a multigenerational workforce must be dispelled and dismissed from conversations if businesses truly want a productive and effective workforce. Keep reading to see some of the most common myths about a multigenerational workforce, dispelled.2

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Myth #1. Millennials Prefer to Communicate via Technology More than Other Generations

It is important to acknowledge that there are technology gaps in the workforce. It’s true that Millennials (those born between 1984 and 1994) and Generation Zs (those born after 1994) are more adept at using new software and systems for work tasks, since they’re natives to technology and grew up with it. When it comes to communication, however, Millennials still prefer face-to-face meetings with their coworkers. While they may send instant messages and participate in group chats more frequently, when it’s time for business, Millennials do prefer to meet face-to-face to discuss business matters at hand.

Myth #2. The Greatest Tension Between Generations Is Between Millennials and Baby Boomers

Millennials and Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) always get the media attention and are always portrayed as being utterly opposed to each other. But the real tension in the workforce currently exists between Generation Xers (those born between 1964 and the early 1980s) and Millennials. Generation X is a much smaller generation (often called the “forgotten generation”) than the Millennials or Baby Boomers. They often report feeling like they’re always overlooked for promotions and under a lot of pressure to compete with the Millennial generation that is currently flooding the workforce. While they’re somewhat adept at adopting new technologies, they still often feel as if they’re in direct competition with Millennials at acquiring new skills.

Myth #3. Organizations Must Use Different Tactics to Retain and Develop Different Generations

A 5-year study conducted by the HayGroup found that when it comes to what What employees want are individualized opportunities and challenging work they care about and are excited about doing. Organizations should cater leadership styles to each individual, not to which generation they were born into. Furthermore, all generations that have received opportunities to complete challenging work are more likely to stay with an employer for an extended period. Older generations won’t stick around if they aren’t being challenged and provided with meaningful work, just as younger generations don’t have a problem remaining loyal to a company if they’re also challenged and provided with meaningful work.
By dispelling the myths listed above, businesses will get one step closer to a more productive and effective multigenerational workforce.
1Entrepreneur. “5 Generations in the Workplace (and Why We Need Them All).” Accessed 12/14/2017.
2Facts and figures (unless otherwise indicated) were derived from multiple “think tank” research documents compiled by ARC Company at: . Last visited 12/14/2017.

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