Employees Staying in the Workplace Longer Affects Organizational Culture

August 1, 2019 | Kathy Joblinske

Kathy Joblinske, Executive Vice President, Iowa Manpower

It seems almost unbelievable, but there are five generations currently contributing in the national workforce. The economic downturn that affected the nation in 2008 and the tendency for people to stay healthy and live longer are delaying retirement for many, in favor of working longer. 

Today, many workplaces are composed of five generations:

  • Traditionalists – born before 1946; values authority and top-down management, hard working.
  • Baby Boomers – born between 1946-1964; workaholics, believe things are done a certain way and consider it policy.
  • Generation X – born between 1965-1976; comfortable with authority, will work as hard as needed to succeed, yet seeks work/life balance.
  • Millennials – born between 1977-1997; feel respect must be earned, tech savvy, goal- and achievement-oriented.
  • Generation Z – born after 1997; digital natives, fast decision makers, highly connected.

The diversity among employees can be beneficial because it brings together the different backgrounds and perspectives each generation provides. However, with five generations working together–all with different communication, motivation and leadership styles–who will take responsibility of training for their cooperation and collaboration? I believe it will be the responsibility of HR and hiring managers to accomplish. We need to figure out the hidden recipe of how to get the best and most out of each, while fostering teamwork.

Manpower has begun to evaluate and update their practices to better accommodate varying employee expectations. Chief Operating Officer Lisa Fiore says, “Having five generations in the workforce really forces companies to have a variety of flexible ways to source, engage, motivate and recognize talent. Each generation has a unique set of preferences and expectations, and it is difficult for companies today to ‘be everything, to everyone.’” She continues, “The more we can enable candidates and employees to customize their experience with us as their employer based on their preferences, (i.e., ways to apply or benefits to select), the more competitive a company will be.”

While the services provided by Manpower vary by customer and job-seeker, regardless of age or industry, the goal remains the same; Manpower helps job seekers get noticed and land positions that match their qualifications with companies that are hiring.

Kathy Joblinske is executive vice president at Iowa Manpower. You may email her at Kathy.Joblinske@manpowerdm.com.