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Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality

Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality

Valerie M. Grubb

ISBN: 978-1-119-22064-0

Oct 2016

208 pages


Case studies and strategies for more effective multi-generational management

Clash of the Generations explores this new and increasingly common workplace phenomenon, and provides strategies to help managers navigate this ever more complex maze. Traditionally, older workers would retire and make room for the next generation; instead, Baby Boomers are now prolonging their time in the workplace, yet the successive generations are still coming in. Senior leaders are now left to manage a blended workplace comprised of up to four generations—each with their own ideas of work ethic, work/life balance, long-term career goals, and much more. Management is challenging at the best of times, but the new prevalence of generation gaps—sometimes even layered—add an entirely new dimension to an already complex responsibility. This book presents case studies and interviews with representatives of companies with age-diverse workforces, detailing innovative strategies for smoothing out the bumps and helping everyone work together.

Managers have long wished that their positions came with an instruction manual, and this book delivers with a host of effective inter-generational management strategies illustrated by real-world companies.

  • Manage the multi-generation workplace more effectively
  • Navigate the generational culture clash
  • Adopt proven strategies for helping everyone get along
  • Promote a more positive culture amidst clashing expectations

Every generation in the workplace has value, each has their own strengths, their own weaknesses, and their own unique talents. Each is indispensable, and when they come together as a synergistic force, they can be unstoppable. Effective management means bringing out the best in your workforce, and the strategies presented in Clash of the Generations help you streamline your varied workforce into a team more valuable than the sum of its parts.

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Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 The New Workplace Reality 1

The Changing Nature of Leadership, 4

The Changing Role of the Manager, 5

The Changing Role of HR, 8

The Changing Role of the Employee, 10

Building on These Changes, 11

Notes, 12

Chapter 2 Defining the Generations 13

What the Experts Say, 15

The Big Three—and a Newcomer, 16

Generational Characteristics, 21

The More Things Change, 21

Notes, 23

Chapter 3 Fostering a Culture of Inclusion 25

The Business Case for Diversity, 28

The Role of Company Culture, 29

Overcoming a Negative Culture, 32

Creating an Age-Diverse Culture, 33

Notes, 37

Chapter 4 Setting the Stage for Great Performance 39

Goal Setting, 42

Evaluating Employee Performance, 46

You Get What You Reward, 52

Senior Leadership versus Peer-to-Peer Recognition, 53

The Basics of Recognition, 55

Intrinsic Motivators, 56

Career and Development Recognition, 57

Notes, 60

Chapter 5 Being an Inclusive Manager 61

The Benefits of Inclusion, 63

Breaking Bad Habits, 64

False Thinking of New Managers, 65

Lead by Example, 65

Don’t Emulate Bad Managers, 66

Promoting Respect, 66

Innovation at Both Ends of the Spectrum, 68

Managing Workers Older Than You, 69

The Consequences of Not Being Inclusive, 70

Notes, 71

Chapter 6 Promoting Growth Opportunities 73

The Power of Effective Delegation, 76

Empower Your Employees, 79

Accommodating Different Learning Styles, 80

Experiential Training, 82

Establish a Mentoring Program, 84

Notes, 84

Chapter 7 Managing Differences in Work Ethic 87

Defining Work Ethic, 90

The Importance of Mission to Millennials, 92

Connecting Company Mission to Social Goals, 93

What Managers Can Do, 94

What Companies Can Do, 96

Notes, 97

Chapter 8 Managing Different Work-Life Balance Expectations 99

The Birth of Work-Life Balance, 101

Work-Life Blending versus Balancing, 102

Performance versus Face Time, 103

Managing Flexibility, 105

Managing Virtual Teams, 107

Notes, 109

Chapter 9 Managing Differences in Career Development Planning 111

Expectations of Career Development by Generation, 113

Using Career Development for Succession Planning at All Levels, 116

Five Easy Steps to Creating a Career Plan, 117

Creating a Company-Wide Development Program Specific to Leadership, 119

Creating Your Own Career Development Plan, 122

Notes, 124

Chapter 10 Generational Give and Take 125

Communication Is Key, 127

The How and When of Communication, 128

Appreciating the Contributions of Youth, 131

Valuing the Wisdom of Age, 132

Promoting Positive Interactions, 133

The Challenge of the Young Leading the Wise, 135

Notes, 136

Chapter 11 You as the Motivating Force 137

Expectations of Today’s Manager, 139

Focusing on You, 141

Finding a Mentor, 143

Moving from Tactical Doer to Strategic Thinker, 145

Notes, 147

Appendix A Case Study - Chegg 149

Background, 149

Benefits, 150

Company Culture, 150

Physical Work Environment, 151

Recruiting, 152

Summary, 153

Appendix B Case Study - Consultants: Leadership Development Services, LLC, and RGP 155

Interviewees, 155

Leadership, 156

Flexibility, 158

Work Ethic and Style, 158

Benefits, 159

Appendix C Case Study - Electronic Arts 161

Background, 161

Company Culture, 162

Career Development, 163

Recruiting, 165

Summary, 165

Appendix D Case Study - Hy-Ko Products 167

Background, 167

Benefits and Recruitment, 168

Career Development, 169

Summary, 170

Appendix E Case Study - TECT Corporation 171

Background, 171

Recruitment, 172

Company Culture, 172

Career Development, 173

Summary, 175

Appendix F Case Study - The Andersons 177

Background, 177

Company Culture, 178

Physical Work Environment, 179

Career Development, 180

Benefits, 181

Summary, 181

About the Author 183

Index 185