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Multigenerational Workforce

No organization can thrive on the talents of one generation of workers, alone. But having a multigenerational workforce is not a guarantee of success either. Companies can and should leverage the strengths and skills of all workers, and build bridges for cooperation between the generations.

The Mature Workforce Initiative found that some companies focus on the multigenerational workplace rather than on mature workers, even when the latter was their initial priority. The report Gray Skies, Silver Linings: How Companies Are Forecasting, Managing, and Recruiting a Mature Workforce includes case studies from GlaxoSmithKline and other companies that want to avoid the perception that one age group gets special treatment. GlaxoSmithKline acknowledges generational differences and provides inclusion through training for managers and supervisors, as well as age-related affinity groups created and run by employees.

Putting Experience to Work: A Guide to Navigating Legal and Management Issues Relating to a Mature Workforce is a legal and managerial guide that dispels myths about mature workers, beginning with the view of what constitutes "old." Its hypothetical scenarios look at the need for succession management at all ages, and offers practical guidelines for helping multiple generations in the workplace interact with each other.

Identifying generational learning styles and preferences can be the first step in building on the strengths of a workforce that spans age groups. Bridging the Gaps: How to Transfer Knowledge in Today’s Multigenerational Workplace compares and contrasts these styles, and shows how the gaps between younger and older workers are far narrower than many people assume.

Generational divides may also exist in the nonprofit sector. The report Boomers Are Ready for Nonprofits: But Are Nonprofits Ready for Them? examines the leadership gap that will result from retirements in the arts and social services fields, as well as the growing demand for employment in nonprofit fields such as health care. But as nonprofits recruit baby boomers transitioning from corporate employment, they must also take care not to block the aspirations of younger leaders.

The research for the sequel A Perfect Match: How Nonprofits are Tapping the Boomer Talent Pool, finds the benefits of working in a multigenerational environment outweigh the challenges and help mature workers make the transition from other sectors.


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