Intergenerational Workforce: Maximizing Strengths for Workplace Success in 2019

by Rich Miller-Murphy

The intergenerational workforce is now the norm. Ever wonder why it seems harder and harder to get people to work together?  Even in your own workplace, conflict is inevitable given so many age/generation variations working or trying to work side by side.

Today we have 4 or even 5 generations of workers in companies…

Traditionalists – born before 1946

Baby-boomers – born between 1946 and 1965

Gen Xers – born between 1965 and 1980

Gen Y (or Millennials) – born between 1981 and 1996

Gen Z (or Gen 2020) – born after 1996

When you then couple diversity with intergenerational workers, you definitely can encounter leadership challenges!

Diversity + Intergenerational Workforce = Leadership Challenges

Intergenerational Workforce Success: An Example

At our workplace, New York Blood Center Enterprises, we have staff from over 50 diverse cultures and all of the above mentioned generations working together.  We try to maximize individual contributions by recognizing that each group has special areas of expertise to offer the collective corporate mission and everyone wants to help us achieve results.

  • We start by recognizing and encouraging active communication.
  • We assign work in areas of digital competence.
  • We offer continuous training and assistance among generational colleagues.

(Some people learn in the classroom, some via PPT, some hands-on and some online!)

  • We learn from each other without taking things too personally!

Part of our leadership challenge is to strategically “Drive Everything Digital” and we started this by introducing the Salesforce CRM platform in 2010.  Now we are still training people and looking to move to the next level of Marketing automation and artificial intelligence.  But it has been challenging to keep everyone moving forward and learning.  We have started charting out pathways to learning digital skills by incorporating weekly training calls via ZOOM and bi-weekly in-person meetings to review basic platform functionality and processes.  We’re excited about our growth and that’s what keeps us focused.

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Rich Miller-Murphy has worked in the healthcare industry for over twenty-five years, currently as Executive Director at New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) focusing on marketing initiatives for the organization’s Blood, Medical and Laboratory Services areas. Previously at NYBC, he was Chief – Strategy & Marketing, Office of the President and also managed the Office of Contracts/Pricing Administration for this $500M+ provider of blood products, research and medical programs serving patients locally, nationally and globally. 

The mission of the American Marketing Association New York is to inspire, support and celebrate brilliance in marketing. Founded in 1931, the AMA New York is the principal community for marketing professionals across all industries and disciplines in the New York area. Offering programs, monthly events, and interaction with the chapter through volunteer activities, we provide marketers with an opportunity to increase their knowledge and reach in the marketing community. AMA New York is the creator of the Effies, the Greenbook and the new Marketing Hall of Fame, which honors outstanding marketers nationwide.

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