Project Management

Topic Teasers Vol. 165: Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

PMI Heartland Nebraska / Iowa Chapter

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Our new diversification program involves not only including all ethnocentricities and gender identifications, but people of multiple ages. How am I supposed to effectively manage a team with so many different (and potentially opposing) approaches to working on my projects​?

A. Older team members may soon retire. Control your reactions and your expectations for the next six months to a year, and perhaps the people giving you a problem will leave the company. This will then allow you to hire someone who already approaches projects the way you do, leading to a more effective team.

B. Do a quick update, or get a cheat chart, on the various generations that could be on your team. Use it to help yourself guide their strengths into a more powerful team. It’s always easier to change your own way of leading that to try to change everyone else to your way of doing things.

C. With a delay of a year or so, those younger people who don’t really understand how projects are done in your environment will have had a chance to be trained by others in your organization. Then, you can consider transferring them into your team, where everyone will think alike.

D. In the interviewing process for new team members, evaluate how your team works. …

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"Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you."

- Charlie Parker