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Communicating in a multi-generational workforce

Communicating in a multi-generational workforce

Hook: (you need a �wow statement� that meets the 85% rule � see the librarian while here

Anchor: (you need a number to demonstrate a problem exists that meets the 85% rule).

The general business problem is each generation has an unique preferred communication/motivational

style challenging supervisors of multigeneration workers.

The specific business problem is some managers have little information on strategies to use to motivate

each generation.

Purpose statement.

The focus of this qualitative multi-case study is to explore strategies that managers use to motivate a
multi generation work force. Data will be collected from 3 HR managers in XXX (city, state) that have
successfully motivated a multi generational workforce. The data from this study might contribute to social

change by increasing productivity and workplace communications.


In the recent past, there has been an increase in the multigenerational workforce and this
has complicated communication in the workforce. This qualitative paper explores the strategies
that managers use to explore and motivate a multigenerational workforce. This study will employ
the use of qualitative study with the use of the case study to analyze the research question related
to communication in multigenerational workforce. The results from this study are important for

businesses as it will be used to contribute to social change by increasing productivity and
workplace communications.


According to Armstrong (2008), human resource is an important aspect in the
management of any organization due to the fact that they have a direct impact on the
success of the business or organization. Therefore, it is important to recognize the
significant impact played by the HRM. Innovation in the human resource management in
the recent past has called for further studies that can be used to improve the nature of
workplace (Brown, 2012). Globalization of business organization has therefore enacted
policy issues and has brought more people that differ in their generational background.
Expanding generational differing qualities is bringing on requesting for a change in the way by
which the superintendents must deal with their HR (Jora & Khan, 2014). The current working
environment is experiencing critical changes that present open doors and difficulties in
equivalent measure. According to Brown (2012), one of the difficulties realized multi-
generational workforce is correspondence among the diverse age fragments. The current
American multi-generational workforce compasses four eras, with each having their own
particular perspectives and needs. Accordingly, the chief of today confronts a progression of
difficulties that debilitate the smooth running of their associations (Jora & Khan, 2014). In such
manner, just associations that grasp generational contrasts in correspondence, methods for
accomplishing things and methods for correspondence are certain to flourish.

Past studies have majorly taken a gander at methods for drawing in a multigenerational
workforce, without narrowing down to the specifics, for example, correspondence. Compelling

correspondence among the multigenerational workforce is discriminating in captivating the
different representatives and guaranteeing that they are centered around their outcomes
(Hiriyappa, 2009). The past homogenous human capital administration may not work
successfully for the current various partners in the working environment (Rajput, Marwah, Balli,
& Gupta, 2013). Correspondence give the methods by which execution desires are situated,
connections created, coordinated effort are empowered, and trust develops inside a
multigenerational workforce. Cekada (2012) contends that striking the right adjust among the
workers is key in guaranteeing that the needs of every last one of representatives are met.

This study will inspect how the correspondence among the multigenerational workforce
can be a test and what could be possible to address the circumstance. This study is exceptionally
huge in as it will empower the associations to handle the correspondence weight from among the
multigenerational workforce, which has a tendency to grow with time. In addition, this study will
give vital bits of knowledge by which the administration can influence the quality of every era of
their human capital to exploit their multigenerational workforce.

Problem Statement
In the work places many generations have been working side by side inclusive of the
younger and older generations that have resulted in the establishment of the middle generations
that holds most of the management roles and the older generations. This older generations is
inclusive of executives who are 30 and 40years in their own careers (Whitacre, 2007). The
distinction of all the age groups are evident in their own generational differences and if not
highly considered they are supposed to put high considerations to reduce any friction that results
from misunderstanding between colleagues and bosses.

Baby boomers, generation W and generation X all sit in the same office under the new
modern work places implying that there is no great difference between this age and past years
(Soto & Lugo, 2013). Generation W is comprised of people who are quickly approaching college
age and within no time they will be approaching the age of the working class and thus will mean
that generation office will be the new norm. The integration of the new workers is the challenge
that has to be put in higher considerations of ensuring that the best is done with the respect to the
seniority and experience to the older generation that has more experience in the field. Once the
new generation joins the workforce they will require a period of adapting to the job filed which
becomes a challenge to the older generation who have to show them the required techniques that
ought to be employed in the workforce to the success of the organization.
Communication style is what brings the difference between the two generations that is
the younger generation that is now new in the job field and the older generation who have been
in the field for a longer time and with high experience about work (Brown, 2012). The younger
generation tend to use another form of communication that involves abbreviations, informal
language and the colloquialisms that need to be seriously be broken down for better
understanding. In some organizations the older workers are accustomed to communicating and
this happens with high formality that has to be followed to the latter.
Purpose Statement
Due to increased multigenerational workforce, the general problem is that each
generation has a unique and preferred communication/motivational style that challenge the
leaders and the supervisors of multigenerational workforce. The main focus of the study is to
determine how communication can be a challenge within the multigenerational workforce and
what needs to be done to improve the situation. A survey methodology that employs the use of

case study can best be used to answer the research questions related to communication in a
multigenerational workforce. The focus of this qualitative multi-case study is to explore
strategies that managers use to motivate a multigenerational workforce and remove the barrier
that may be presented by the multigenerational workforce. For the purposes of this study, data
will be collected from 3HR managers within New York City. The data and the result from this
study might greatly contribute to the social change by increasing communication and the overall
productivity within the multigenerational workforce environment.
A case study is an examination that contains an oral, archival, and discretionary source-
based relic of past or present marvels. Right when associated with a study, relevant examination
investigation or procedures will get to the sort sources and frameworks that are open, especially
in a way that the method has been gotten to some social science examinations. Case study gives
an intentional strategy for looking at events, data collection, and information examination,
reporting of the researched report. The result of the technique will help the examiner to secure
sharp learned utmost of why the event happened as it did, and what may get the chance to be
basic to investigate at more broadly later on investigation. Another proposition is that case study
can be seen as an examination approach, an exploratory solicitation that examines a sensation
inside its real setting. Exactly when depicting the context oriented investigation, a couple of
examiners battle that the unit of examination is the most essential point of view for the
circumstance study ensuing to independent from focusing on a social event or individuals; it
tends to focus on the system or technique for movement.
Research Question
The communication style can be used by the leaders and supervisors who work in a
multigenerational workforce has not been fully established. The ability of the people in the

multigenerational workforce to enhance their communication is very important as it will enhance
proper relationships and improve the productivity of the workforce.
Theoretical or Conceptual Framework
Social constructionists
Social constructionists, also known as symbolic interactionism, is a theory that considers
communication as a perfect transaction of message that comes from the sender to the receiver as
a product of information sharing and creation of social meaning. The social constructionist
theory argues that how somebody says something determines the meaning of the message by
assuming that the ideas are constructed though the social process. It can also be viewed as a
constructivist view that that involves an ongoing process that symbolically forms and reforms
personal identities involved in the communication process. The social constructionist theory sees
communication as a robotic and computer like since it is seen as a transmission model from one
medium to another. The constructionist view provides a more realistic view of communication
by involving a proper interaction of people through sharing of ideas regarding a particular
question. According to social constructionist theory, the human communication occurs in
electronic form that doesn’t behave as bits in electronic stream, but more like an electric current
that runs from one person to another involved in the communication process.
Social learning theory
The theory of social planning is a social learning theory that is as well referred to as the
applied social learning theory when developing interventions to motivate all the farmers who are
determined in farming issues. This is aimed at reducing seed sowing, nitrogen fertilizer that
should be applied and the insecticides that will later be applied in the soil to improve the soil

fertility (Hiriyappa, 2009). This type of theory mainly stresses on the importance of
observational learning, all the imitations that have to employ for use in the working sector and
the media effects on human behavior that has to be followed in the organization to ensure that
codes and ethics are well followed. This theory as well explains that through social modeling any
worker in the organization or even outside the organization they are in a better position of
adapting to any type of behavior that they need to adapt to. It encourages awareness and high
expectations of the future that have to be reinforced or punishments that will be affecting the
management through the impacts that it brings to the individuals. Extrinsic factors have to be
highly be employed for use in changing all the individual behaviors to ensure that they behave
accordingly for the success of the organization. However, new behavior is also learned through
learning how the rest people conduct’s themselves in the right way that will be impressive to all.
The younger generation tend to use another form of communication that involves abbreviations,
informal language and the colloquialisms that need to be seriously be broken down for better
understanding. In some organizations the older workers are accustomed to communicating and
this happens with high formality that has to be followed to the latter.

Behavioral theory
Theory of planned behavior is applicable in developing the campaign approach and
media materials with the aim of driving strategic communication campaign framework to
understand how the individual’s behavior ought to be promoted in the right way. This theory
works hand in hand with the theory of planned behavior that asserts the intentions to perform
certain behavior that is advocated for use in the organization. The attitude of a certain individual
is what asserts the intention to behave in a certain way that is needed in the organization. This

theory has helped in controlling the norms that were employed for use by the individuals that led
to controlling the health matters in the organization (Cekada, 2012). Health campaigns have been
reported to be successful through this theory; since, it ensured that people were made aware to
ensure that they determine, which type of diseases contribute to the certain behavior that is
evident in employees. This helps them in making a good decision that will give them the chance
to make good analysis and increase their knowledge in handling matters that arise ahead. This
theory help in explaining why some media campaigns have limited success and give a solution
on what need to be done to ensure this problem is improved to the right standards. In some
organizations the older workers are accustomed to communicating and this happens with high
formality that has to be followed to the latter.
Significance of the Study
This study has a lot of business significance as it will greatly transform the manner in
which people view the multigenerational workforce. This study has the potential of improving
workplace productivity by increasing job satisfaction among the multigenerational workforce.
Employees feel empowered if they if they appreciate their multigenerational differences in the
context of communication between them. The smoothness of communication flow is very
important to workers since employees feel secure when they are able to receive truthful and
updated information from their bosses and their co-workers (Hiriyapa, 2009). The future of the
company is guaranteed if everything is communicated in the right way and in the right channels
across the multigenerational workforce. Enhanced communication skills will help to reduce the
barriers within the multigenerational workforce and enhance understanding among the general
workers. The generational differences requires proper understanding among the difference age
groups segments as will be highlighted by this research. This study enhances the ability of an

organization to offer enhanced job satisfaction, team building, increased commitment and loyalty
that an organization needs to improve the productivity of its workers. The ability of an
organization to enhance their human resources will enable to move forward and increase on their
competitive ability.


Brown, S. E. (2012). Attracting, challenging, and leading a multigenerational workforce-A
perspective. Frontiers of Health Services Management, 29(1), 29-33.

Cekada, T. L. (2012). Training a multigenerational workforce. Professional Safety, 57(3), 40-44.

Hiriyappa, B 2009, Organizational Behavior, New Age International, New Delhi.

Rajput, N., Marwah, P., Balli, R., & Gupta, M. (2013). International Journal of Marketing and
Technology, 3(2), 132-149.

Armstrong, M 2008, Strategic Human Resource Management : A Guide To Action, London:
Kogan Page, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost, viewed 31 December 2014

Cahill, Terrence F,E.D.D., F.A.C.H.E., & Sedrak, Mona,P.H.D., P.A. (2012). Leading a
multigenerational workforce: Strategies for attracting and retaining millennials. Frontiers of
Health Services Management, 29(1), 3-15.

Cekada, T. L. (2012). Training a multigenerational workforce. Professional Safety, 57(3), 40-44.

Jora, R. B., & Khan, S. (2014). Motivating multigenerational human resource. International
Journal of Organizational Behaviour & Management Perspectives, 3(4), 1276-1281.

Rajput, N., Marwah, P., Balli, R., & Gupta, M. (2013). Managing Multigenerational Workforce:
Challenge For Millennium Managers. International Journal of Marketing and Technology,
3(2), 132-149.

Soto, M. Y., & Lugo, M. V. (2013). Multigenerational differences in the puerto rican workforce.
The Journal of Business Diversity, 13(1), 65-82.

Whitacre, T. (2007). Managing a multigenerational workforce. Quality Progress, 40(12), 67.

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