Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Employee engagement ideas for a multigenerational workforce

Nearly 90% of global businesses believe a multigenerational workforce plays a valuable role in growth and success.

Yet just 6% of employees strongly agree that their leaders can effectively lead a multigenerational team. Yikes.

It’s estimated that around 30% of 65- to 74-year-olds will still be working by 2026. As the number of workers over 65 increases, businesses need to do more to get the most out of every generation.

Embracing a multigenerational workforce and encouraging cooperation means you’ll get greater diversity of thought, leading to more creative thinking.

In fact, 87% of US workers feel multigenerational workplaces experience increased innovation and problem solving.

More creative thinking helps you stand out from your competitors to both customers and job seekers. They’ll be intrigued by your innovations and want to support them.

When it comes to hiring, you’ll attract candidates who want to work for creative, forward-thinking, diverse businesses. Further increasing your diversity efforts.

How today’s multigenerational workforce breaks down

Roughly speaking, the generations look like this:

  • Silent Generation (sometimes called Traditionalists): born 1925-1945.
  • Baby Boomers: born 1946-1964
  • Generation X: born 1965-1980
  • Millennials (Generation Y): born 1981-1996
  • Generation Z: born 1996-2012
  • Gen Alpha: born 2013-present

Obviously, members of Gen Alpha are too young to work right now, but it won’t be long. I’m a Millennial and it feels like only yesterday that Gen Z-ers entered the workplace.

Each generation makes up the following percentage of the global workforce:

  • Silent Generation: 2%
  • Baby Boomers: 25%
  • Gen X: 33%
  • Millennials/Gen Y: 35%
  • Gen Z: 5%

Different generations want different things from their working lives. For instance, Millennials want purpose and growth from their work, while Baby Boomers want security.

Your workplace benefits, therefore, need to have a wide appeal to support a multigenerational workforce. A lot of it comes down to company culture and what you prioritize as a business.

So, how do you maximize employee engagement for a multigenerational workforce? Let’s take a look:

Be flexible around working styles

Every person is different, and each generation grew up in a totally different world. As a result, they all have different requirements and expectations.

To get the most out of someone, managers need to actively ask employees what they need.

For some, this will be flexible start and finish times to pick children or grandchildren up from school.

For others in a multigenerational workforce, it may mean working remotely to manage health issues.

Avoid assumptions about each generation

When you make assumptions about someone, these pre-conceived notions can affect how you talk to them and have a detrimental impact on your working relationship. This is especially true in a multigenerational workforce.

For instance, if you see older workers as slow to learn, you may give them less to do, causing them to get bored and frustrated.

Or if you see a younger generation as entitled, you may not provide them with the praise they deserve simply because you want to bring their ego down a peg or two. Which can then impact their performance because they may not feel like their hard work is appreciated.

These assumptions are often subconscious. And why training programs in diversity and soft skills are so important. 

Training programs help everyone to not make assumptions about the people in front of them based on their characteristics, leading to better collaborations and happier employees.

Encourage connections

Whether it’s through mentoring or employee groups, encouraging employees to connect is good for not just their workplace productivity, but their overall wellbeing, too.

Older generations can teach their younger counterparts a plethora of skills that can help them in their current role and beyond. It’s a perfect workplace mentoring opportunity.

The more that different generations interact in a multigenerational workforce, the more they can learn from each other. They may learn how to adapt their communication styles based on who they’re interacting with or the type of meeting they’re in, for example.

If you’d like help connecting your multigenerational workforce, get in touch to discover how Workrowd could help boost your employee engagement.

Train communication skills

Communication skills are too often taken for granted. But there are lots of different communication styles and we must adapt ours to fit our audience. This ensures we get the most out of the interaction and don’t offend or upset anyone.

Given that 81% of workers feel the most significant difference between generations at work is their communication styles, and 38% find it hard to communicate with coworkers from other age groups, training around communication styles could be the key to a team’s success.

According to a study by AARP, 60% of workers feel the presence of generational conflict. 70% of older employees dismiss the skills of younger employees, while 50% of younger colleagues dismiss what an older employee can do.

I’ve dealt with this myself. Someone hired me to consult on a marketing project but constantly questioned my judgment. I was made to feel like my opinions and experience weren’t valid no matter how much data I provided to prove my points.

This is why teaching everyone how to improve their communication style is so important. We all have traps we can fall into; ones we don’t even notice. Sometimes all it takes is a training program to refresh our memory and improve interactions across a multigenerational workforce.


As the workforce evolves and increasingly includes multiple generations, businesses will have to find more and more ways to cater to generational differences. This generational diversity comes with huge benefits, too, such as different perspectives on projects and problems.

It starts by embracing and accepting each different age group. Learning their strengths, their areas for improvement, and how they fit best into your diverse, multigenerational workforce. This will ensure they have the best employee experience, and as a result, you’ll get improved employee satisfaction and engagement.

Ready to boost outcomes across your multigenerational workforce? Workrowd’s all-in-one suite of tools can help. By building connections across age groups and enabling you to track everything via real-time analytics, you can deliver a top-notch employee experience for all ages.

Ready to learn more? Visit us online or send us an email at to schedule some time to connect.

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