May '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Your Personal Business Trainer V i n c e D i C e c c o BUSINESS MANAGEMENT W elcome to the world of managing a multigenerational enterprise. Today's workforce is changing rapidly, and we're starting to see key trends that will ultimately determine what makes up a successful 21st century workplace. With four generations currently in the labor force (Baby Boomers, ages 55–72; Gen Xers, ages 40–54; Gen Y, or Millennials, ages 21–39; and Gen Z, ages 20 and younger), there is an increased focus on how to manage multigenerational employees. Yet, at the same time, business owners have shared that the current pool of job-seeking talent is somewhat shallow and markedly less loyal than they themselves were 20 or 30 years ago. The overwhelming challenge of finding and hiring dependable help will not go away anytime soon. This fact makes it more incumbent upon managers to better understand, motivate, and retain their most talented workers, regardless from which generation they hail. A WORKFORCE OF OLD FARTS AND UPSTARTS Organizational managers that take time to understand the characteristics of each generation may be able to harness the power of the new 'multigenerational' workforce and create a work environment designed to feed off each of their strengths, rather than dwell on their differ- ences. The retirement age in the United States is ever climbing. My 86-year-old mother actually enjoyed working 40-plus hours a week at her job with a major pharmaceutical manufacturer right up to the day she finally retired 12 years ago, at age 74. Never before in the history of American business have we perused a company's payroll list and noted such a widely spaced age difference of the people working shoulder-to-shoulder. Don't believe me? Head down to your local supermarket, fast-food restaurant, or perhaps just look around your own shop. The first key in managing this mish-mash of cultures, values, and beliefs is to under- stand what makes the different generations tick. Of course, this will require some stereo- typing as you make broad-brush, age-based assumptions about certain people. But, in this case, the generalization is better than assuming everyone operates the same way. If you think everyone who works for you is motivated by the very things that keep you going, wake up and smell the double shot, non-fat, mocha latte, my friend. WHAT YOU ARE IS WHERE YOU WERE WHEN There is an old proverb that goes "people resemble their times more than they resem- ble their parents." In the 1970s, Dr. Morris Massey was one of the first behavioral sci- entists to recognize and develop the concept that people adopt personal values that re- flect the times when they were in their early teens. If you wanted to begin to understand a person, find out what their life was like WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KIDS TODAY? Managing Today's Multigenerational Workforce 1 0 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9

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