Management Shift

With current changes in workforce demographics, operational managers need to build the right organizational culture to stimulate employee growth and performance. For decades, human resources experts have been proclaiming the massive exodus of retiring workers. This situation creates a huge human resource problem for most businesses.  

 Therefore, organizations need leaders who are attune to cultural changes in society that impact their processes as well as their employees. In this discussion, we will focus on the inherent leadership characteristics that managers need to posses in the new millennium.  Many managers do not follow culture shifts that impact their organizations. You can simply look at the Baby Boomers. Some individuals proudly note that the massive Baby Boomer departure, predicted by many experts, did not happen. Many managers have grown confident that their most experienced workers will not be leaving for a very long time.

 Of course, they hedge their bets that the economy will not rebound any time soon.  Yet, one thing is for certain. Baby Boomers will leave one way or another; every generation eventually must exit the workforce environment because man’s existence is finite.  Therefore, the Baby Boomer generation will be replaced.  Researcher Kerry Harding describes this new generation as the “Emergent Workforce,” which crosses age groups, gender, race, and geography. This generation is very concerned about their professional growth. With the advent of reengineering and outsourcing of jobs, many organizations have made it difficult for employees to consider their career development in any one organization.


In a hypercompetitive environment, some managers view their workers simply as a disposable workforce due to employees’ lack of organizational loyalty. However, in reality, what we are seeing are a new set of employee value systems taking place. In one workforce study, Emergent employees (88%) believed that loyalty is not related to employment length, while Traditional employees (94%) felt that loyalty was about the willingness to stay with an employer for the long term.

Therefore, managers must be able and willing to infuse organizational values into their workers. This process starts at the very beginning when prospective workers are in the initial hiring process. Usually, the selection of a new employee is both time consuming and labor intensive. Companies conduct a series of interviews to determine if a potential employee is the right fit.

Yet, managers must listen to what their employees are saying. Alan Murray, author of The Wallstreet Journal Essential Guide to Management, insist the bosses must think differently:  Managers will not be able to assume they know the answer-because more often than not, they won’t.” Murray argue, for the fully engagement of workers as well as other stakeholders.

In the 21st century, managers must consider adjusting to the changing culture. This process will help foster better management-labor relationships and stimulate employee personal growth. This starts in the hiring process, in the employee orientation process, and then in continual employee development. Organizations must be zealous in their approach of clearly stating their values and employees must clearly see that fact in the lives of their organizational leaders. If organizations continue to ignore these value issues, they may find themselves cleaning up their own business mess.

Furthermore, today’s employees want more than the status quo. In fact, individuals want help in discovering their career path and meaningful life. Labor intense workers are being replaced with knowledge workers and learning becomes part of an organization’s competitive advantage.

Gary Yukl, author of Leadership in Organizations, explains that the immediate supervisor has considerable influence over a person’s leadership development; however, many bosses fail to do the right things to facilitate growth in their employees. Therefore, today’s managers make shift their thinking if they want to increase workers’ performance.  

What are effective ways organizations get their managers to embrace the culture shift necessary to manage a 21st workforce?

  © 2010 by Daryl D. Green

40 thoughts on “Management Shift

  1. To be a successful manager in a 21st Century workforce is a difficult task. A manager must be the leader of the group and must demonstrate the following characteristics. They need to listen and talk less to ensure they meet their customer’s needs. Have to acknowledge change and make the necessary changes to keep pace with the ever changing environment. Working on spending quality time with individual people is key to building a strong trusting relationship. Spend time with like-minded people who can refresh and motivate you to continue moving forward. You must know when to ask for help and build a staff to assist you in all areas of your business. If you are not good with the books hire an accountant. With that said you still have to take ownership of the business and keep others from dictating how you run things. Always work on healthy communication and display a high level of confidence. Show everyone that you have a passion for what you do and have the patience to see a project or a change through its completion.


      • Good question. Being a good listener can boost your business profits as well as helping employees feel so good to be with you that they would follow you anywhere. You have to not only actually listen to the person but you need to get a sense of what they want to accomplish, who they are, how they are feeling, and how they view life. You need to learn to go inside their heads. Remember this is not easy but it is a skill that is developed. The wiser you become the better listener you will be. You will not come across as truly understanding someone unless you have wisdom about people. Always find something positive to say to validate their ideas instead of focusing on the negatives. They need to feel that you respect their point of view. Do not think ahead on how you will respond. Put aside these thoughts and “be with” the other person. Keep your mind open to discover merit in what the person is saying. You cannot effectively listen when your attention is on yourself. Practice makes perfect but remember that men and women do think differently.


    • In response, as organizations grow changes in the leadership needs of the organization require different skills to navigate through various phases of growth. Much of the growth in organizations comes from mergers & acquisitions. For them to embrace the culture shift of the 21st century workforce, managers should work to improve specific areas that touch upon the employee life cycle, new sourcing and hiring strategies, new approaches to learning and development, and revitalized efforts to retain top talent.
      But these actions aren’t enough. Companies must develop a more broad “human capital strategy” across a range of integrated areas dealing with leadership, talent, culture and organization. A successful human capital strategy will help put in place the right leaders to source, develop and direct the right work force talent supported by the right culture, organization and operating model.


      Click to access 21st_century_skills_education_and_competitiveness_guide.pdf

  2. In order for today’s managers to embrace cultural shift in the 21st century workforce, organizations must help them understand that these shifts are going to happen and show them that the baby boomer generation is eventually going to get out of the workforce at one time or another. Since this occurrence is happening at the current time organizations must begin to train their managers about the generation that is beginning to enter the workforce and will be taking the place of the workers they have now. The United States government has actually set up a training summit that has taken place in 2010, to help government officials understand the new workforce and how best of manage them. The main component of the summit was to help government agencies best recruit new employees, but there were also classes about the emerging workforce’s cultural identity and tools they use such as social media (1). By helping managers understand the emerging workforce they will be able to better lead the members and embrace the new ideas they may have.

    “2010 Government Talent Management Summit | Human Capital Institute.” Human Capital Institute | The Global Association for Strategic Talent Management. 2010. Web. 21 Sept. 2010. .

  3. I didn’t realized how much the operations managers were involved in the operation process until operation tour at Knoxnews Sentinel yesterday. When the operation manager guided and explained to us each process with full knowledge, I noticed that operation managers should be able to know all of the process to increase productivity and efficiency. In addition to knowledge about each process, managers would need good relationship with their employees because each process will be performed by a skilled workforce. However, if employees have issue with managers, the outcome could be less than what they could make fully with endeavor effort. According to the article about future operations managers, a new set of skills, such as fast learners, ready to adapt to changing rules in the market, and highly motivated will be required to be a successful operation managers. Besides, good communication skills, which include a good listening skill as Erick mentioned, are always welcome as good Operation Managers are able to get the most out of their team by talking to them. Then It will infuse organizational values in the end.


  4. Managers in today’s world must first realize that what may have been true 50 or so years ago is definitely no the case today. While the baby boomers are slowly shifting out of the workforce and new generations are coming in, it is important to keep in mind the shift of attitude towards the workforce. Managers need be more in touch with the outside world as well in order to execute a successful work environment. And while managers may not appreciate shifting certain things in their business it is vital to keep an open mind about what is occurring around them. According to Global Study Magazine CEOs are in need of managers who will be open to accept the changes that occur and be willing to make changes when possible and as fast as possible in order to see fit the new developments taking place. Change can be frustrating and quite a headache however it is a necessary factor in today’s business’ across the globe and therefore must be taken into account, in order to keep a company running. It is also helpful to keep with the program as to not lose focus and harm the business in anyway. Newer employees will be ready for these changes easier than older more traditional employees, therefore it is safe to say that being on top of things is beneficial in order to ensure a more comfortable and organized workforce.


  5. Effective ways that organizations can get their managers to embrace the culture shift that is necessary to manage a 21st workforce would be by knowing the companies goals and the purpose of function.
    The managers would need to know when to ask and/or seek help as well as not being afraid of making changes.
    The article “PE Culture Shift: How Schwarzman and James Made It Work at Blackstone”, lays out a perfect example of success of managers whom would stick it out and seek out help from other employees and resources to meet the company’s objective with the changes of senior positions leaving and younger generations coming.
    Over all, the best recommendation that i can give is: before your senior personnel leaves, start cross training or open a job shadowing position to train qualified personnel’s for the positions.

  6. As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. ~Bill Gates

    To efficiently and effectively manage a 21st century workforce, organizational leaders must educate themselves concerning the social norms, values, and expectations of each emerging and/or well-established generation. The workforce, for the first time in history, is composed of four independent and very distinct generations (Matures, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Nexters), all of which harness and utilize different workplace philosophies (Kyles, 2005).

    The archaic and antiquated styles of dictator-like managerial cultures have proven to be immensely problematic amongst the latter two generations, whereas those within the former have embraced them. This creates a serious conundrum, and has truly placed many organizations in unchartered waters. The resolve to these matters lies in awareness, familiarity, understanding, and innovation. If managers receive a comprehensive education concerning the inherit differences within each culture, the generational distinctions and needs can be managed more appropriately.

    For example, to eliminate the perception of a hierarchical structure, cross-functional project oriented teams can be established, with each generation fulfilling various rolls and assuming predetermined responsibilities. This will also facilitate cross-cultural awareness and assist organizational leaders in identifying the most appropriate manner in which to manage individual employees. To further precipitate a cohesive unity amongst a multigenerational body, chief level executives could also consider a move to Open-Book Management (Financial Executive, 1998).

    This notion was overlooked by many near the close of the previous century. It allows employees to have a vested interest in the performance of their employer. They are given access to previously privileged financial data and are asked to meet certain performance levels, which would prove to be beneficial to the organization. In turn, if these objectives are met, they are rewarded with incentives. This is important because many of these initiatives are group based and can lead to relationship developments among employees.


    Kyles, D. (2005). Managing Your Multigenerational Workforce. Strategic Finance, 87(6), 52-55. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

    (1998). The Shift to Open-Book Management. Financial Executive, 14(3), 50-52. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  7. I believe that for today’s 21st century manager to be successful they have to possess the ability to be able to adapt to each individual employee’s needs and diversity. Managers have to understand that with a more diverse workforce the cultural shift has become more complicated. With many people from different ethnicities and religions BMO Financial Group (BMO) has found success by preparing their managers with training to help them better understand and manage the cultural shift. At BMO, managers are provided with tools – workshops, seminars, leadership development programs – where diversity and cultural competence training are embedded in the curricula(1). Through these resources mangers have adapted the concept of “first we must get it right with each other” (1). BMO’s new approach to improving their culture has allowing them to become a culturally competent organization.

    Taggert, April. Ivey Business Journal. October 2007.

  8. I agree with Jeff. I think that the challenge of the 21st century will be how manager manages a ever changing diverse group of people. There will be many different management styles utilized with an ever changing workforce. According to Gill Hickman and Ann Zollar the focus on diversity initiatives in organizations generally entails understanding, respecting, valuing and accommodating human and cultural differences. In a survey of 32 organizations, the most comprehensive definitions of diversity incorporated:

    race, gender, age, physical appearance, nationality, cultural heritage, personal background, functional experience, position in the organization, mental and physical challenges, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, military experiences, educational background, style differences, economic status, thinking patterns, political backgrounds, city/state/region of residence, IQ level smoking preference, weight, marital status, non-traditional job, religion, white collar, language, blue collar and height . I think that this represents large different cultures among the workforce. As managers we must utilize the differences to be more effective in the workplace. We cannot look at someone’s weight, height, gender or the color of one’s skin to make judgments of their abilities to be successful in the workplace. With this being said we must not create biases that could create road blocks that could potentially slow down or kill a positive culture in a workforce. As a management staff we must embrace all differences and use the unique experiences to become a leader in the cultural shift of the 21st century. Sam Walton said that the only constant is change. Successful managers have the ability to be flexible and change when needed for the good of the company as a whole.

  9. In order to effectively manage the new workforce entering an organization, the mangers must identify and address the issues or concerns of new employees. An article written by R.A. Weber identifies five concerns that the 21st century workforce has with their careers. They are as follows; 1) being frustrated and dissatisfied with organizational “realities” – e.g. poor supervision and incomplete understanding of time horizons in careers; 2) being insensitive to, and passive in, the organization’s political process; 3) being unable to understand, and adjust to, the evaluative criteria used in an organization; 4) the natural tension that exists between older and younger employees; and, 5) not correctly perceiving the implicit social contract that exists between the individual and organization, and its ramifications. It is no mystery that a cultural shift has occurred in the workforce, but by identifying what new employees expect and their uncertainties in their careers provides a framework for management to effectively lead them.

    Mangers must first identify current workforce issues so that common ground and trust are established. Then, implementation may follow; if new employees never feel that management understands them, then they will never “buy- in” to the organization and retention will be unsuccessful. We are in a time of uncertainty and constant changes in the workforce.

    This was evident in our class trip to the local newspaper where, when the operation manger was asked if he had any advice for anyone wanting to start a career in that business, he clearly pointed out that due to changes in technology, the news paper business success is very uncertain. This is the current culture shift that must be addressed by managers.

    Knoxville News Sentinel

  10. Just as the 21st century has seen new types of organizations and new ways of doing business arise, so, too, there are new management trends, ideas, techniques and cultural shifts. While running after every trendy idea is hardly a recommendable strategy, the wise manager will learn, study, and apply the best current thinking. To successfully mange 21st century cultural shifts organizations must get their mangers to embrace the following management keys:
    Management is for everyone. As educational levels rise and information technology accelerates, the distinction between “managers” and “workers” will fade away and management knowledge will be everyone’s responsibility.
    Management is for learners. As information becomes the chief product of every business and as knowledge continues to explode, everyone will be a learner and the manager’s foremost task will to promote learning.
    Management is based on communicating. As techniques for planning, strategizing, decision-making, and problem solving become the common province of everyone in the organization, the need for improving communication will be paramount and managers will be increasingly using dialogue and other communication tools.
    Management is about change. As technology and information reshape all our lives, change management will be “business as usual” and managers will be change agents who guide everyone to find and embrace the best new practices.
    Management is broad based. As boundaries disappear within organizations and in the world at large, the scope of management will grow and managers will be organizational development experts, diversity experts, facilitation experts, consultation experts – and much else.…cultural-shifts…/2627

  11. It is rare today to stay with one company, grow professionally, and retire as was a common theme for previous generations. And coupled with each new job is a new set of rules and regulations employees must learn in order to mesh with existing corporate culture. Corporate culture is comprised of two factors, both surface and deep. Surface consists of all of the written policies and procedures that appear in the company manual while deep includes the company’s proven track record. When the written policy differs from the company’s record, a lack of trust begins to emerge.
    It is imperative for both the company and the employee to be transparent by effectively communicating expectations they anticipate to be upheld. This builds trust and should occur from day 1 and continue with refresher sessions throughout their employment. In order for corporate culture to be effective, it has to become more than written policy; it must actually be implemented and followed at all levels of the company. Trust is a major factor in corporations as Paulson states, “Trust is the crucial issue, and how it is addressed at the corporate level will trickle down to the team and individual levels, influencing both.”

    Paulson, D. (2002) Chapter 4: Individual Company Level. Competitive Business, Caring Business. (pp. 72-81) New York: Paraview Press.
    Economic News Release: Number of Jobs, Labor market Experience, and Earnings Growth. United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from on September 28, 2010

    • I agree with Cleveland in that companies are evolving, and with that the standard quo of Corporate Culture is shifting. The same values and core cultures within entities has grown to accomodate more than just the lower level workers, but also to encompass the higher performing managers. The object of employee retention comes into effect when a company is attempting to retain their higher level employees. By using different methods, it has become a vital part of a company’s culture. For example, according to McKinsey Quarterly, incentives should now be given to employees that are not only top executives, but ones that are potential top executives. In essence, these financial and non-financial incentives should represent the culture of the entity, reflecting the incentives that the company deems ethical and value-adding.

      Cosack, S., Guthridge, M., & Lawson, E. (2010). Retaining key employees in times of change. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 135-139. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  12. In order for managers to embrace the culture shift necessary to manage today’s workforce, it is necessary for them to accept the fact that what worked in the past will not work today. In the past managers expected that the salary an employee receives is enough to keep the employee motivated and encouraged to keep working, however today employees expect managers to understand them and allow them to express themselves along with having a status quo in the organization. In order to understand an employee and his position it is necessary for managers to have experienced the task that the employee performs. A good example of this was personally witnessed by me on our trip to Knoxville News Sentinel last week where the operations manager had 30+ years of experience and climbed the ladder in the organization. With his experience and knowledge of working in all positions below him, he was able to demonstrate each process in the operations of News Sentinel, however if this operations manager at News Sentinel was someone who was recruited from another industry without the experience of the newspaper industry, he probably wouldn’t have had the knowledge of each step in the operations. This knowledge is necessary because it allows managers to understand their employees and set reasonable expectations from them also.

  13. What are effective ways organizations get their managers to embrace the culture shift necessary to manage a 21st workforce?
    In considering this question, and with my military (instead of business) background, I chose to look towards the Army for support.
    With 21st Century challenges, leaders need a new mix of competencies to properly shape their forces and develop their subordinates. “Shifting demographics, rapidly changing technology and other factors will require new patterns of leadership” (K.H. Prichard, 1999).
    “Our 21st-century leaders will need greater awareness of diverse factors and new sets of competencies—characteristics that lead to success on the job—to help them make relevant, correct and timely decisions in the leadership of change and leadership of people. Leadership of change encompasses the ability to design, develop and implement an environment (domain of upper to top levels) or local setting (domain of first to middle levels) of values, standards, goals, priorities and other factors that encourage adaptation, modification and true transformation balanced by continuity, moderation and common sense” (K.H. Prichard, 1999).
    Prichard points out that Core competencies are the foundation to success in the new age.
    • Tactical, technical and technological (information/computer) proficiency.
    • Cognitive skills and abilities, such as numerical comprehension, oral communication and problem solving.
    • Interpersonal skills and abilities, such as skill in human relations and teamwork ability.
    • Personal characteristics, such as decisiveness and tenacity.
    • Leadership of people involves joint efforts at all levels and lateral segments of an organization. New policies, plans and practices designed around the changing workforce and market conditions must be forged, supported and implemented. Without rising to the occasion of change, a company/organization is destined to grow stagnant and fail.
    Competency-Based Leadership for the 21st Century
    by Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth H. Pritchard, US Army Reserve

  14. Be (somewhat) humble! I agree with Alan Murray. (1) Murray suggests that managers will not be able to assume they know the answer. We need to be willing to hear hard truths from our employees, customers, suppliers and anyone else close to changing marketplace than we are. Globalization requires mangers to deal with different cultures. Managers need to motivate the employees from the Generation X and the Millennial Generation. Being humble can be data collection, listening to others, monitoring their behaviors and thinking patterns and finding a fine balance between old and new generations in the ways of directing the organization. Then we need to support employee’s motivation by using organizational systems. (2) We don’t just count on cultivating strong interpersonal relationships with employees to help motivate them. The nature of these relationships can change greatly, for example, during times of stress. Instead, we can use reliable and comprehensive systems adjusting to the culture shift to help motivate employees. Some examples are to establish compensation systems, employee performance systems, organizational policies and procedures, and other tools to support employee motivation. Also, establishing various systems and structures helps ensure clear understanding and equitable treatment of employees. I think it’s a great suggestion!
    (1) Murray, A. (2010). The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management. Location: Harper-Collins Publishers.

  15. Most companies still operate with more traditional approaches, including hierarchy and cooperation. To become a collaborative workplace, a culture shift is needed. Embracing change is never easy, and it’s even more of a challenge when a company is focused on continuous improvement.
    The most important thing to realize about change or continuous improvement is that, it’s a culture shift. It’s not a project with a deadline or an initiative for one area of your business. Continuous improvement requires your entire team, everybody in your organization, to embrace change and focus on driving improvements in your business. You cannot allow it to rest on the shoulders of one area or one person in your business.
    The major constraint at many companies is limiting the vision by not including all the people that work and impact the business. It is critical to get everyone involved. Leadership should actively seek feedback from the different levels within the business, especially in formal settings like huddles and meetings. They also have to be out there talking with the people who are facing the challenges every day.
    Many companies implement change by trying to get people to buy in to their vision. Unfortunately, many people in the organization don’t share that vision or they struggle to see or fully understand the vision. If you’re looking to change, many times you have to start by communicating the behaviors you expect to see.

  16. The greatest challenge for firms to lead their workforce smoothly through the transition of baby boomers to the digital generation, is going to be the transference of knowledge. If our future workforce, whether leaders or followers, are being raised to believe that truth is relative, they will certainly not believe that learning from our past and from the older workforce is going to help them develop themselves. Many firms have and will collapse because the ability to train the workforce is greatly impeded by their attitude, that the past is no longer relevant.

    Like former Secretary of State Collin Powell, some people believe that digital technology is being used to decrease our level of ignorance. When in fact one could argue the opposite is true. With the abundance of information that is available at the click of a mouse, there is no excuse for not being well informed and knowledge enriched. However, our nation’s government funded educational system has proven to be very poor with regards to other industrialized nations, barely beating the median scores for fourth and eighth graders. Results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study have shown that as our students progress in their education, they digress in their performance against international students, especially Asians.

    The cloud of ignorant bliss under which many of our young skate through life, will have a much more drastic effect on our industrial work force than the exodus of the baby boomers. In short, do we want to embrace this cultural shift at all, or do we want to drive our own culture.


  17. What has been overlooked by observers of generational shifts is the fact that generations breed generations, hence, Generation X = Generation Y. As General Powell admits that the old generation didn’t do all that bad for itself, he insinuates that the new generation will do that much better. While the new generation, henceforth dubbed the virtual workforce, is faced with new obstacles, their inexperience is salvaged by the old generation’s influence. History is coated in bad decisions and outcomes but the cliche is to learn from the mistakes and reinforce them to function for the 21st century workforce.

    In an article on how to approach the virtual, corporate setting, Lojeski affirms that a company must recognize that its workforce is at the center of competitive advantage. While utilizing the old generation’s conventional methods, the virtual workforce must be able to utilize means of dealing with unconventional situations on a digital scale. Companies have to be more organizationally innovative because their influence is not only seperated by corridors but sometimes oceans as well. In that sense, the strategy of the virtual workforce requires coordination and commitment from all levels of corporate positions. Less and less do we see a dictatorship when it comes to leading a corporate workforce. Because of the fragility of the virtual world, leadership is shared. Everyone has a specific role to play. The audience (customers) will decide if the role met expectations when all is said and done.


    Lojeski, Karen. The New Rules of the Virtual Workforce. COInsight. January 8, 2006.

  18. Managers must consider adjusting to the changing culture in the 21st century. Not only are baby boomers departing but many companies are finding themselves outsourcing more and communicating with people with different ethnic backgrounds. The US has immigrants who have been part of the workforce and they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is valuable to businesses. Good communications is the key to get managers to embrace the culture shift. There are seven steps managers can take to better communicate with the culture shift in the workforce which are learning how the source culture best receives communications, training international employees early and often, training the non-foreign-born, assigning mentors and taking care of the spouses, practicing open-door communication, avoiding jargon and slang in company-wide communications, and playing by the rules and sticking to business.

    Ribbink, Kim. Seven ways to better communicate in today’s diverse workplace

  19. I agree with Jeff Hancock’s statement that managers must have the ability to adapt to each individual employee’s needs. Today’s emerging workforce is a lot more diverse than that of the baby boomer generation and unlike the baby boomer generation who did as they were told, the new generation of workers are more willing to express themselves and are more willing to go elsewhere if they do not agree with the leadership and company culture. Leaders must understand this new generation and must adapt leading people individually. It is also important with this cultural shift that managers understand that the new generation of workers need to know that there are advancement opportunities within the company. Baby boomers might have been fine working the same job for 25 years, but the new generation wants to see growth opportunities and if managers do not share those opportunities they will end up losing great employees to other companies. Companies can also increase employee retention through intellectual growth platforms. This can encompass on-going training, a commitment to helping your staff achieve both short and long-term goals, increased responsibilities and assigning projects that enhance key skills, and welcoming innovation where new ideas and approaches are encouraged and rewarded.

    Reference: Intellectual Growth: The new employee retention tool.

  20. For a multigenerational workplace to be efficient managers must maximize their employees’ potential and create a harmonious working environment for multigenerational employees. In a recent article staffing executive Diane Domeyer discusses methods to maximize a multigenerational workforce.

    1. Communication and Collaboration-helps to build a culture of open communication and mutual respect. Hosting a brown bag luncheon or a special project are methods to encourage teamwork and help build camaraderie.

    2. Diffuse Misconceptions-in order to effectively leverage generational differences it is critical to break down stereotypes example: your oldest worker might be your most skilled worker in regards to computer software applications.

    3. Develop Two-Way Mentoring Programs-each generation brings a skill set to the table a mentoring program will allow each generation to learn from one another.

    4. Promote Self-Esteem with Reassurance-generational tension can be caused by feelings of job insecurity.

    5. Make Policies Flexible-by understanding each generation a successful manager can shape programs that better meet their employees’ needs. (Domeyer, 2006)

    While there is no simple solution to managing multiple generations the critical issue for all managers is to remember that employees are individuals and it is critical to understand each employees and the value they add to the company.


    Domery, D. (2006). How To Get The Most From A Multigenerational Workforce. OfficePro. 66146-16. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  21. The 5th century BC Greek philosopher Heraclitus provided key insight into management and what is needed to stay relevant when he said “The only constant is change.”(1) Modern organizations must realize that today’s employees have different needs, wants, expectations etc. than those of their parent’s generation. As a result, “old ways” of managing people and assets may not be the best ways anymore and a change in the mindset and skill sets of managers are greatly needed.
    Take Google for example. Now known for its dynamic workplace settings, Google is helping to set the stage for the new American workplace. Google listens to employee suggestions as they pertain to needs such as health care, child care, workplace safety/comfort, and other benefits and strives to meet those. As a result they are able to attract the best and brightest to their organization. They have embraced change, and understand that in today’s workforce culture salary isn’t always king.(2) When employees feel that their company has listened to them and is striving to meet their personal needs, loyalty and buy-in can’t help but follow.

  22. In the 21th century manager tasks are difficult. You have to be a good leader by managing much stuff. You have to follow the growing of the organization by embracing the culture shift of the 21th century workforce. The managers have to improving their new approach of learning how to do their strategy hiring. Now day’s managers have to be a people person and you have to gain respect by showing to your employees what you can do. Trying to avoid negativity and listen what your employees want it is also very important to be open minded. Managers need to be in touch with the outside word at the same time organization has to help them because the new generations are bringing technology. Even if the culture shift became more complicated they have to educate themselves. It is not easy to be a manager because if the company going good or bad it is you so they have to stand up for the challenge.

  23. In a 2010 Futurist article, Wagner states, “The future workforce will be even more diverse than you can now imagine.” Wagner also expresses how managers need to look out for problems and opportunities arising from technology-enhanced workers entering the workforce today (Wagner, 2010). Managers have to adapt to the workforce turnover; therefore, they need to be flexible and take the opportunity to build an understanding relationship with their employees that make up the diverse workforce. The relationship between the manager and his or her employees is crucial in generating a positive and productive workplace. Building a positive relationship through good communication and respect will enhance the work environment (Husting, 1995). With a company focus on building professional relationships and effective communication, managers will be more likely to accept and embrace the culture shift and feel comfortable doing so.

    Husting, P. (1995). Managing a culturally diverse workforce. Nursing Management, 26(8), 26-32.
    Wagner, C.G. (2010). Managing tomorrow’s ultra-diverse workforce. Futurist, 44(2), 3.

  24. Diversity in today’s workplace helps to develop unique work relationships critical to an organization’s success. It is essential in bringing together the similarities and differences that people add to an organization. Managing diversity is an on-going challenge within organizations. Some effective ways organizations get their managers to embrace the culture shift necessary to manage a 21st Century workforce are by creating a workplace environment that encourages learning from different cultures, and being open to change.

    In order to create a workplace environment that encourages learning from many cultures, there must be respect for individual differences, as well as valuing those differences. This can increase productivity by increasing creativity and employee morale.

    Being open to change can simply mean to have a positive attitude. Managers must also recognize their own cultural prejudices and understand discrimination so they can promote a workplace that embraces the culture shift.

  25. Stress, workforce shortage, information overload and competitive pressures are all things that employees and managers are dealing with as participants in the 21st century workforce. Information and work overload can lead to loss of productivity. As employee shortages continue, companies will have fewer workers to perform the necessary work. With this in mind, “maintaining and attracting the right workforce is evermore critical in a globally competitive economy” [1]. Teams will need to be empowered and included as part of strategic planning and implementation. Teams will need access to information to make the best decisions. Leaders will need to ensure employees are aware of deadlines and other time sensitive activities. Leaders will need to participate and listen so that they communicate in ways that lead to appropriate employee response. Leaders need to be aware that workers will demand a balance of work and leisure time. In short, leaders will need to adjust to this new culture and adopt new methods and tools in order to be successful. A more collaborative approach to achieving the organization’s goals is needed. This collaboration goes beyond the company it also affects the nature of work and the global society as well.

    [1] It’s a New World and Everyone is Paying Attention World-and-Everyone-Is-Paying-Attention/

  26. The most important thing a company can do to embrace the newest incoming work force is to educate the organizational mangers of the generational differences of all their employees. There are currently four generations in today’s work force; traditional, baby boomers, gen X and gen Y. In order to effectively manage the very unique generations, management must understand the key similarities and difference of these individuals. For example, the traditionalists are a generation that seeks structure and a hierarchy format of management who have demonstrated an appreciation for authority. Typically traditionalists ask little to no questions about the task being given to them to perform. This is very different from the Y generation who perceives respect as something to be earned and not readily given. The y generation was raised to ask questions and may readily do so. Therefore, a manager uneducated of such generational differences may find a generation Y’s questioning disrespectful while they are simply seeking to gain knowledge.

    Tolbize, A. (2008). Generational differences in the workplace. University of Minnesota.

  27. For more than 100 years, business schools have been successfully teaching the hard “left-brain” aspects of management and leadership, but, in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world, this is not enough. Professor Nancy Adler, of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, says that running a business nowadays calls for “levels of inspiration and creativity which have long been associated with artists than of most managers”.

    For example, LVMH, which owns brands such as Moët & Chandon and Louis Vuitton, believes looks for candidates for its fast-track leadership programe to be creative and inspired by just not knowledge. “We need people who combine an entrepreneurial mindset and an international vision with pragmatic and creative thinking,” says Antoine Tirard, the company’s recruitment and development director. “That combination of skills is crucial to pursue innovative initiatives while respecting the DNA of our prestigious brands, and thus achieve success in our environment.”

    Also today an efficient and skilled manager needs the skills of verbal and nonverbal communication skills. These skills help managers in managing their staff and understand upper management as well.

  28. What can managers do to inspire postmodern workers to greater performance?

    Since most people don’t like sudden change the best way for managers to inspire greater performance is through baby steps. According to Lior Arussy the remedy to mediocre performance is “Daily Choice,” a strategy that empowers employees to reach new heights of excellence. The small steps would help prevent overwhelming employee with a drastic change. It is important for the overall success of the change that the employees most affect by the change are comfortable with the modification in the company’s policy. If the employees are not willing to accept the change then the changes will fail or the company will have to replace their current employees with new ones in order to make the change take place.

    (2008). Excellence Every Day: Make the Daily Choice–Inspire Your Employees and Amaze Your Customers. Information Today, 25(8), 48. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  29. In a recent article staffing executive Diane Domeyer discusses methods to maximize a multigenerational workforce.

    1. Communication and Collaboration-helps to build a culture of open communication and mutual respect. Hosting a brown bag luncheon or a special project are methods to encourage teamwork and help build camaraderie.

    2. Diffuse Misconceptions-in order to effectively leverage generational differences it is critical to break down stereotypes example: your oldest worker might be your most skilled worker in regards to computer software applications.

    3. Develop Two-Way Mentoring Programs-each generation brings a skill set to the table a mentoring program will allow each generation to learn from one another.

    4. Promote Self-Esteem with Reassurance-generational tension can be caused by feelings of job insecurity.

    5. Make Policies Flexible-by understanding each generation a successful manager can shape programs that better meet their employees’ needs. (Domeyer, 2006)

    While there is no simple solution to managing multiple generations the critical issue for all managers is to remember that employees are individuals and it is critical to understand each employees and the value they add to the company.


    Domery, D. (2006). How To Get The Most From A Multigenerational Workforce. OfficePro. 66146-16. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  30. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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