Mini-MBA: Intergenerational Leadership Curriculum

What The Workplace Will Look Like, and Understanding the Five Generations Working Side-By-Side

There is no question that the workplace today is changing rapidly. With artificial intelligence, the gig economy, and employees living longer, healthier lives, the future will no doubt be even more different. Companies need to prepare now and fully understand the implications of these changes to their business strategies. One key component is leveraging the multiple generations in the workforce. These include Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen 2020 or Gen Z.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Data and trends which will impact the workforce over the next several years
  • Awareness of the five generations, their core values and preferences
  • Eight key areas of differences between the generations
  • Commonalities across the generations
  • Understanding how these demographic changes impact business and strategy execution

Challenges in Leading and Managing the Five Generations

Leaders in today’s business world are feeling stress and pressure unlike ever before. It’s difficult enough to keep up with the day-to-day business needs but add to this having to lead the most diverse workforce in history and it just gets tougher. Gone are the days of treating everyone the same. Employees today are looking for leaders to get to know them on an individual basis and flex their leadership style to meet their needs and preferences.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Leader behaviors that are most effective for each generation
  • Ways to improve individual and team performance
  • Five reasons why millennials quit and what leaders can do about it
  • Providing feedback in a way that is valuable to each generation

Managing Across Generations – Attracting Talent

Clearly, the presence of multiple generations in the workplace carries with it both challenges and opportunities. When it comes to attracting talent, are the five generations really that different (e.g., comfort with digital, how work gets done, what they value)? How big a role does a person’s life stage play?

Key Takeaways:

  • The connections among corporate responsibility, the employer brand, and the personal brand
  • Utilizing employees and recruiters as brand ambassadors and “storytellers” to attract talent
  • Tips and tools to energize and engage across the generations (e.g., cross-generation reverse mentoring)
  • Getting the story out there about your workplace, and meeting candidates where they are
  • What ponds should you fish in for talent, and what are the most effective channels to leverage for attracting talent?
  • How your employer brand, employee value proposition and a diverse set of reward offerings (e.g., traditional compensation and benefits, experiential and emotional rewards) help to create a compelling experience for different generations

Leveraging Social Media Platforms and Building Your Social Media and Networking Literacy

Today’s business relationships and processes are increasingly digital. Savvy leaders of all generations need to understand the social and digital levers that impact clients, candidates, employees, and employers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain a better understanding of key social media opportunities related to sales, branding, talent acquisition, and multi-generational collaboration
  • Greater awareness of the leadership role needed to inspire social best practices across the generations
  • Understand the power of social media for recruiting, branding, and sales prospecting through hands-on exercises and discussions
  • Leveraging social media tools, such as LinkedIn, to position oneself with a unique personal brand online that links to their employer’s brand
  • How organizations can establish a clear brand that is consistent across media channels and that incorporates the strong personal brands of their leaders

Managing Across Generations – Creating the Right Environment for Engaging and Retaining Different Generations of Talent

The war for talent – a term first coined by McKinsey in 1997 – rages on. Is there ever a time when employers are not in a virtual war for attracting and retaining the best talent?

Attracting talent is the first step in the employee lifecycle; many argue the real work begins once employees join a company: How to engage them effectively? How to best manage them, taking generational nuances into account? What are the secrets to retention?  

Employee engagement continues to be a foundation to achieving all of the above, even with five generations working side-by-side in today’s workforce. Much fanfare has been made about the arrival of the millennials into today’s workforce, and what engagement means to them versus employees of other generations. Is all this talk more fact than fiction?

Key Takeaways:

  • Traits of highly effective and impactful managers, as well as the similarities and differences in how different generations want to be managed and engaged
  • Common misperceptions of engagement drivers by generation
  • Essentials of time-tested best practices that drive employee engagement and retention across the generations
  • How to create a culture of engagement to foster managers, executives, and HR professionals to learn and practice methods designed to increase the level of organizational engagement
  • Solutions and techniques to improve engagement within an organization
  • Building accountability at all levels to ensure an engaged workforce
  • Creating short- and long-term engagement goals for participants’ specific situations using a proven Action Planning template to address challenges and areas of focus

Managing Employee Communication and Collaboration Networks – Understanding Different Generations of Employees

Effectively managing and coordinating daily interactions with different generations is becoming a core competency for effective leadership in general, and intergenerational leadership specifically. In this module, participants will learn (1) the principles of organizational networks, (2) how these networks spark different strategies for communication, managing conflict, and decision-making across generations, and (3) how to combat barriers to effective networks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Applying the principles of organizational network analysis
  • Assessing key network metrics
  • Crafting effective managerial networks and taking stock of your social capital
  • Combatting barriers to effective personal and organizational networks
  • Mapping information awareness and information access networks
  • Pinpointing network energizers and de-energizers

Motivating and Developing Across Generations

It seems to be convenient to place each generation’s behaviors and ideals neatly in a box, apply our biases and stereotypes, add a little water, and voila, develop a training or engagement plan on how to "deal" with "them"... whoever "them" is. But let's face it, each person comes to the table with their own past experiences informing their current worldview.  

In this module, we will explore ideas behind motivating and developing individuals in today’s multi-generational workplace. We’ll look at where generational differences may indeed exist, where they constitute a social force, and/or where they might simply be stereotypes and our own biases. From there, each participant will experience a hands-on and highly interactive activity structured to build bridges and connections across teams, functions, and, of course, generations.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Viewing a multi-generational workforce as a true asset
  • Learning experiences that foster and strengthen relationships and connections across the workforce
  • How important these relationships and connections are to unleashing the full potential of your company

Career Development and Mentoring Across Generations

Different generations view, manage, and craft their careers in different ways. In the face of boundaryless careers, virtual work, and the gig economy, a new definition of mentoring is key to successful leadership. Participants will learn about various forms of mentoring (e.g., coaching, sponsoring, reverse mentoring), tools and techniques for effective mentoring, how best to provide career development across the generations, and how to assess their developmental networks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fundamentals of various generational similarities and differences in effective mentoring
  • Shifting our mindset from traditional mentoring to developmental networks
  • Evaluating developmental networks
  • Developing talent through relationships

The Science and Practice of High-Performing Teams

Much of the work done in organizations these days is through teams. Effective teamwork and team leadership are important ingredients for any organization to be successful, especially where team members are from different generations.

This module will focus on the key success factors of intergenerational teams, and the role of team leaders in managing such teams.

Key Takeaways:

  • The fundamentals of team effectiveness – what makes for an effective team, how to design and launch a team successfully, and how to manage team processes to build a productive team culture
  • Greater awareness of one’s role as a team member and team leader
  • Understand and address the issues involved with participating in and/or managing intergenerational teams through hands-on activities and applications for participants’ specific situations

Using Effective Conflict Management and Situational Leadership Strategies to Build a High-Performance Intergenerational Team

Conflict within teams is inevitable (and, in fact, necessary for success), especially when the teams are comprised of members from different generations. Research and practice indicate that with effective management of conflict and using the framework of a situational leadership approach, teams can become creative and productive.

In this module, participants will learn how they can manage conflict constructively, and how they can adapt their leadership styles depending on the situation to maximize team members’ contributions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn five different conflict management styles and how to adapt these different styles to resolve conflict constructively with team members and others
  • Understand and apply situational leadership to manage and motivate team members from different generations and help them achieve high performance

Program Overview

For an overview of our Mini-MBA: Intergenerational Leadership program plus program benefits and outcomes, please click here.