Here’s an interesting challenge for a contemporary manager: four generations now work together in the United States. That means the people in charge must contend with employees’ very different styles of learning and doing their jobs. On April 22, the University of Wisconsin-Madison conference “Managing a Multigenerational Workforce” will provide managers practical tips for building a productive team within this challenging context.
The conference takes place at Madison’s Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants will develop a personal plan with help from management experts such as Sarah Gibson, president of the training and development firm Accent Learning & Consulting; Robbi Dreifuerst, director of the Leadership specialty at the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies; and Mary Hoddy, who served as the staff education and training director at UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Union.
“We’re seeing a really large demographic shift between baby-boomers and the millennial generation,” Gibson says in the video interview above. “In 2010, 35% of the workforce were baby-boomers, and by the end of 2015 they will be down to 18%. In 2010, millennials were 27% of the workforce, and by the end of 2015 they will be 47%.”
The upshot, Gibson says, is that almost half of our workforce will be under 33 by the end of the year. This will lead to a significant cultural shift in many organizations, given the differences between the generations. “Managing a Multigenerational Workforce” will help managers bridge the gap, encouraging collaboration among a wide range of employees.