Scott Span Discusses Generational Diversity in the Workforce

Posted Date: 
January 16, 2013



Scott Span, Tolero Solutions, addresses the Small Business Committee

Vice-Chair Judy Stephenson welcomed the MCCC members and introduced this morning's speaker, Scott Span, Tolero Solutions, to begin his discussion on generational diversity and how to manage the different characteristics of employees based on age difference.

Scott Span introduced the demographics that currently define the American workforce. For the first time in history, the supply of labor in our country spans 4 generations: The Mature/World War II generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y/Millennials. This age disparity in the workplace is not likely to change anytime soon; based off of the rapidly growing demographic of workers between the ages of 18 and 24, as well as the slow economy requiring retirement-eligible employees to keep working for longer in order to maintain their standard of living, a 4-generation workforce might remain the norm for a while.

It is important, then, to understand the characteristics and styles of each generation as to effectively manage employees. Each age group comes with its own unique personality traits, different desires in the ideal job, and each responds positively and negatively to different management styles. In particular, Mr. Span highlighted Millennials, the newest addition to the workforce, explaining the effective techniques of mentoring young employees, assigning roles and challenges of significance, and reaching an understanding of their outlook on life.

Mr. Span concluded with advice on reaching out to the entire workforce and engaging them in peer-to-peer and supervisor-to-employee dialogue. He warned against focusing solely on the older workers for the purpose of advanced training and grooming for leadership, and instead advocated for engagement across all age groups. He advocated for tailoring one’s management techniques based off of the needs of the employees, and to remain flexible and keep an open mind for the differences between employees.

Read Mr. Span's powerpoint and handout.

MCCC Strategic Partners