What Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers Want

Victor1558 (CC BY 2.0)

What do Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers have in common? The desire for a more flexible workplace, according to a study recently published in Advances in Developing Human Resources. As organizations compete for talented employees from today’s increasingly multigenerational workforce, managers need to understand these workers’ need for flexibility in terms of where, when, and how work gets done:

The Problem.
One of the most important emerging issues in the field of human resource development is how to effectively help organizations deal with the shifting demographics in the workforce. The largest generational cohort is nearing retirement, which will result in a loss of talent, experience, and expertise. The newest generation entering the workforce is substantively different. The next 20 years will likely see a shift to new ways of working, reflecting the values of the younger generation.

The Solution.
Organizational cultures that will be able to retain employees across generations need to be developed. Each generation seems to be alike in one crucial area: their desire for workplace flexibility. Middle managers need to be incented and trained to accept a culture where they maintain accountability without power and control.

The Stakeholders.
Human resource development practitioners and researchers have a role in developing interventions to change organizational culture to be more flexible, thereby potentially increasing retention of valued workers across the generations.

Read “Creating a Flexible Organizational Culture to Attract and Retain Talented Workers Across Generations,” published by Barbara A.W. Eversole of Indiana State University, Donald L. Venneberg of Colorado State University, and Cindy L. Crowder of Indiana State University on August 10, 2012 in Advances in Developing Human Resources–and stay tuned to the latest research on these and other human resource development topics by clicking here.

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