tions necessary for people to engage in
mission-focused work by working to ensure that team members at all levels:
their minds to.
We are at a unique point in history where
the nexus of economic, technological,
medical and sociological forces have
gathered four generations into the same
workplaces. Late traditionalists, now
in their seventies, and boomers, now
working alongside Gen Xers and millen-nials,;who;are;the;age;of;their;grand;and
Previously, age, expertise, status and
power were well aligned in the workplace.
less. It was an orderly system. Now it is
navigate. While older workers still possess
and wisdom required for problem-solv-ing, younger workers often possess the
marketing and technological savvy needed for current and future success.
Though these generations have a lot
their values differently. As result, they
show different levels of engagement in
Engaged Engaged Disengaged
Millennials 28% 55% 17%
Generation X 30% 50% 20%
Boomers 31% 49% 20%
Traditionalists 38% 47% 15%
leaders need to learn the propensities of
each generation, and employ strategies
for engaging them in ways that reflect
their expectations, style and priorities.
Following is a general overview of the
generations and recommended leadership practices appealing to each one.
Traditionalists (ages 69 - 89)
Traditionalists comprise only about four
percent of the workforce. Some are in the
upper echelons of the corporate world
it is not surprising that this is the most
engaged segment of the workforce. Tra-ditionalists;follow;the;rules,;show;more
to the company. They are accustomed to
that tenure counts for a lot.
This group is a treasure trove of perspective, wisdom, and institutional
memory. Engagement strategies for traditionalists should focus on their needs for
Control: Traditionalists are comfort-able;with;a;directive;style;of;leadership,
other styles. Many are sticking around
voluntarily, but they don’t necessarily
work options such as part-time sched-ules,;contract;and;temporary;work.;Let
them choose when to work and the kind
of work they will do.
Connection: The draw of relationships
so avoid disrupting long-standing rela-
Tim was on a destructive path, wreaking havoc in his company and spiraling out of control. He met a talented leader who saw his potential and knew how to truly engage people. He
hired Tim and created the conditions for him to engage
and thrive. Corporate executives and HR professionals
consistently say that increasing employee engagement
is a critical priority for their organization.
Research shows that engagement levels
hover close to 20 percent nationwide,
although there has been a minor uptick
in recent years.
Not Engaged 50%
This matters because engagement affects many important business outcomes.
Engaged workers are focused, moti-vated,;committed,;and;creative.;They;give
more because they want to. Those who
and business mission. They are compli-ant,;but;require;close;supervision.;Dis-engaged people actively work against the
$500 billion annually to disengaged employees alone.
of all Generations
Great companies work as hard on creating a healthy and productive work culture
creating value for their shareholders.
They ensure that their leaders understand
people at least as well as their marketing department. Great organizations and
their leaders invest in creating the condi-
See the online version for
a table listing the specific
practices managers can
employ to create an engaging