Secrets to Building a Thriving Multigenerational Workplace

DPP MultiGenerational workforce picture

In today’s businesses it is common to find 3-4 generations working together. How many different generations do you have working in your business?  How in the world do you build effective recognition programs and build the corporate culture effectively with such a diverse group?
Well, let’s first take a look at the different potential generations.

Generational Groups

Following is a breakdown of the typical generations you might find in your business and their approximate birth years:

Traditionalists (Silent Generation): Born 1928-1945. This generation is largely retired, but you may still have one or two people working in your business.

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964. You will find this generation is in senior positions or working in key functional roles, but nearing retirement age and creating roles you will have to fill.

Generation X: Born 1965-1980. Currently holding many mid-level and senior management positions.

Millennials (Generation Y): Born 1981-1996. This is the largest generation in the workforce today.

Generation Z: Born 1997-2012. This generation is entering the workforce in increasing numbers.

Although the above highlights some roles where certain generations may hold in businesses, you should note, they may be fulfilling many different roles within your business.

What a range!

Just think of the diversity of things each group has experienced as well as the knowledge gained and the way they all work. That is certainly a lot. For example, some would have worked before computers were part of a job and some would have never worked without some technology in their pockets. Some prefer to communicate with a phone and some prefer to communicate with an app.

Properly designed and executed employee recognition programs are a big part of the answer to the questions above. So, how do you build effective recognition programs and build corporate culture effectively?

In a word, inclusivity.

You can become much more inclusive with your recognition programs.

Strive to create programs which celebrate milestones beyond tenure. While recognizing long service is valuable, also highlight significant contributions, project achievements, and knowledge transfer – achievements all generations can attain.

Connect these recognition awards to reinforce company values that align with inclusivity and respect for all ages. This makes rewards meaningful and fosters a sense of shared purpose.

Try specific programs like peer-to-peer appreciation by encouraging employees of all ages to recognize each other's work, to foster cross-generational connections and appreciation for diverse skill sets.

Think about mentorship rewards to acknowledge both mentors and mentees. Us a particular focus to highlight the value of intergenerational knowledge sharing.

Take a closer look at your employees

From a Harvard Business Review, “Harnessing the Power of Age Diversity”1, the authors highlight the growing divide between generations and provide some practical guidance to move forward together and benefits from doing so.

Although, I haven’t read the book from the authors of the article above yet, so I can’t comment directly, it too does look like it could be a useful tool in your toolbelt. Titled: Gentelligence: The Revolutionary Approach to Leading an Intergenerational Workforce2

Once you have taken the closer look at your employees the next step is to build the recognition programs to fit what you have found. You will find that you will have to build other corporate plans which lead your employees into your recognition programs. Our team can help you with this process as well as assisting you with your employee deep dive.

Why do all this?

The benefits of a multigenerational workforce are numerous to your business and impact many aspects of your business.

A recent AARP study found, “83% of global executives recognize that a multigenerational workforce is key to business growth and success”3. “Employers around the world prosper when they focus on providing work environments that cultivate a multigenerational workforce that maximizes diversity, equity, and inclusion.”4


You may have known all of this already, however if you are similar to the vast majority of businesses, you don’t have an action plan in place to take full advantage of your generational workforce benefits to your business.

We suggest you follow some of the guidance above and start today to build or rebuild your employee recognition programs with a focus on this generational workforce. As a starting point, well planned recognition programs for your employees can put your business on the path to fully experiencing the benefits of your generational workforce.






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