Learning & Development, Talent

What Baby Boomers Need to Know About Managing Younger Generations

While the Millennial generation is set to take over the workforce soon, there are still a lot of Baby Boomers in the workforce in managerial roles or vying for managerial roles.Boomer
Research indicates that while around two-thirds of Baby Boomers are retired, those who are in the workforce still feel and act young and are working very hard to reach their individual goals. However, it’s no secret that their methods, approaches, and ideals often conflict with younger generations inside the workforce, especially those who they work with or manage.
If you want your Baby Boomer managers to have more success with the younger generations they manage, continue reading to see more information about some things they will need to know how to do.
Baby Boomers have a very strong work ethic and often work 10-hour days to work toward a goal, and they have high expectations inside the workplace. They also tend to exhibit a strong sense of loyalty to their employers because they hope that their employers will provide them with promotions, enhanced benefits, a pension, recognition, etc., if they work hard enough or long enough.
Yet in the modern-day workplace, younger employees don’t see the point in working for an employer that doesn’t invest in them and their career trajectories and what they care about, especially because they fear that they are largely expendable and will be fired soon anyway.
And when younger employees don’t see the purpose of their work on a personal level or daily level and don’t receive frequent feedback about their job performance and goals from their managers, they become disengaged and less productive and eventually leave organizations.
So, Baby Boomer managers will need to know how to translate their valuable work ethic to the modern-day workplace if they’re going to be successful. In other words, they will need to learn to “work to live” instead of “live to work.”
Baby Boomer managers will also want to explore transparent communications with their employees regarding their job performance and get rid of annual performance evaluations. They will also need to coach employees in finding meaning in their everyday work or in finding opportunities that will fulfill them. And they will need to set a high level of competency at work themselves.
Where Baby Boomers believe in tenure and tend to follow the chain of command and workplace hierarchies because of tradition and societal norms, younger generations follow leaders who set good examples and produce valuable, innovative, and meaningful work regardless of their official titles or tenure.
In addition, Baby Boomer managers will need to offer a lot more flexibility to their employees. Where they’re more inclined to work from home to work more, younger generations simply don’t see the need of coming into the office every day when technology allows them to simultaneously work remotely and stay connected to their teams. And younger generations tend to prefer to work smarter and more efficiently, not harder.
Most importantly, Baby Boomer managers can be quite effective if they’re willing to mentor their employees, as younger generations crave feedback and guidance in the modern-day workplace. So, they should not forget to try and focus their efforts on developing the future workforce so that it’s full of successful leaders, too.