By Anthony Heim

On Wednesday December 13, GTC of IFMA had their last luncheon for 2017 at the Embassy Suites in Cary. Dr. Jolene Erlacher presented on preparing businesses for effective inter-generational leadership in an evolving culture.

As our workforce ages and new generations flow into the workplace, there is a need for management to understand who they are working with. Dr. Erlacher outlined the current generational makeup of workforce and those that are on the way:

Generations Today
Silent: Born 1928-1945 (Age 71+)
Boomer: Born 1946-1964 (Age 52-70)
Gen X: Born 1965-1980 (Age 37-51)
Millennials/Gen Y: Born 1980-1995 (Age 22-36)
Gen Z/Homelanders: Born 1995-2010 (Age 7-21)
Generation Alpha: Born after 2010 (Under 7)

​With Millennials making up the largest generation since the Boomers, it is necessary to understand the sources of age diversity to effectively lead and manage. Factors such as life cycle (idealism), period effects (war or Recession) & Cohort effects (education, technology, and parenting) play a role in shaping the expectations of a generation. These effects have a direct correlation to beliefs in attitude with authority, work ethic, values and beliefs about roles in the workplace.  The changes in millennial work ethics have shifted from traditional to emerging. Some of the biggest changes can be seen in these core beliefs.

​Emerging Beliefs​
Life comes first
Follow the rules, why?
Respect must be earned
No defined work clock

​While these beliefs may be in opposition to much of the current workforce, Dr. Erlacher demonstrated how current leadership can evolve to integrate this new thought process into their organizations. By adapting a new management style, one can become an effective intergenerational leader. Part of being an effective leader is meeting the changing needs of the growing workforce. Successful leaders will find that emotional intelligence, listening skills, understanding others values, fostering team building, rewarding performance, mentoring, providing constant feedback and modeling professional practices will be important to add to the current skillset.