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Leading & Engaging a Multigenerational Workforce

Executive Development Programs

Program 4: Leading & Engaging a Multigenerational Workforce


Today’s workforce can be as diverse as having four different generations working together, each with their own distinctive styles, values and belief systems and ways of viewing work-related issues. Multi-generational work environments can breed misunderstanding and conflict, and can compromise growth. However, if managed effectively, it can be a source of positive challenge, opportunity, and significant growth.

Organisations struggle with the challenges of effectively managing a more diverse workforce. These challenges often relate to variation in perspective, values and belief systems as a result of generational differences and are further complicated due to the age differences between managers and employees. The assumption – that people of varying ages will understand each other or have the same perspective and goals, is far from true. In order to be successful, managers need to understand and value the diversity resulting from generational differences, varying perspectives and differing goals.

Generation Y or “Gen Y” for short – is the term most commonly used to refer to the cohort of individuals born in the 80s and 90s, who are already in the workforce. The Fifth generation, Gen Z or The Linksters will be coming into the workforce very soon. For Leaders who have four generations of employees sitting in a meeting or working on a project, it can seem like each generation has its own worldviews, priorities, career models, motives and values. The Leader need to enhance their understanding of generational characteristics and the impact of their own management practices on each of these groups. They need to leverage on the strengths of each generation. Taking full advantage of the multi-generational workforce will enable employers to effectively attract and retain employees, build teams, deal with change, and increase employee engagement (Bawany, 2013)2.

Four generations are working together in today’s workplace—and a fifth is on the way. Each brings unique assumptions to the job. As a result, events in the workplace are often interpreted differently by individuals in different generations. What may seem like good news to a Boomer might well be an unsettling and unwelcome development to a member of Generation X. Things that members of Gen Y love often seem unappealing or frivolous to those in older generations.

This highly interactive, informative and practical session will provide participants with a deeper understanding of what the differences are, how those differences impact their own perception and leadership style, how they manifest themselves in the participants’ own organization and effective ways to lead the people in their organization to become more harmonious, productive and mutually respectful.

This workshop will include research findings on how to engage a multi-generational workforce, and how best to leverage on the strengths that each generation of employees bring to the table to create real value to the customers and the organisation as a whole.


The workshop is designed to provide participants with:

  1. An understanding of the factors and historical period experiences that shape each generation
  2. The opportunity to develop more effective communication and influencing strategies for each generation of employees
  3. An understanding of the workforce realities created by four generations in the workplace, including the potential points of commonality and conflict between each generation
  4. Knowledge of the best practices required of leaders to leverage talent and wisdom of every age of employee to increase productivity and achieve business outcomes
  5. Development of a Personal Action Plan for enhancing their Leadership Effectiveness

Program Outline


  • Check-In & Workshop Objectives
  • Experiential Learning: The ‘S.C.O.P.E.’ Approach
  • Video: What is a Good Leader?
  • Top 10 Lessons Learnt on Executive Derailment

Leading a Multigenerational Workforce

  • Understand Generational Differences within the Organisation
  • Communication across a Multi-Generational Workforce
  • Impact Generational Differences have on Effectiveness and Productivity
  • Exercise: Create an Engaging Environment to Create Value to Your Customers

Leveraging on Leadership Styles to create an Engaging Organizational Climate

  • The Six Leadership Styles
  • Dimensions of Organizational Climate
  • The Three Social Motives
  • Relationship Between Motives, Managerial Styles and Organizational Climate
  • Individual Exercise: What’s Your Motivation?

Integrative Video Case Study

  • The Video Case provides participants with real-life scenarios where a leader adapts his leadership style to suits the situation and needs of the group
  • The Case has strong impact on the concepts and ideas that were developed during the workshop are brought back to the surface and utilized

Individual Exercise: Self Reflection and Discussion

  • Post Workshop Assignment
  • Individual Exercise: Development of Personal Action Plan
  • Conclusion and Check-Out


2“Unlocking the benefits of a multi-generational workforce in Singapore” published by Singapore Business Review, 24 January 2013 http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/commentary/unlocking-benefits-multi-generational-workforce-in-singapore

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