Managing multiple generations of employees had become a challenge for a university for several reasons:
- The demographics of staff spanned all generations, including Veterans and Generation Z
- The demographics of those at management level spanned multiple generations as well
- The cultural gap between these generations was relatively wide, due to the university setting.
The manager-employee relationship had resulted in reduced engagement and increased turnover. Common feedback included generation gap and difficulty in communication and engagement of various generations. One specific area was common across all manager demographics: motivating across generations.
Problem in a nutshell: Improving manager capability to motivate across generations.
Client’s Request: Understand where the gap in motivation is occurring and develop a solution to close the gap.
“It was one thing to have learned about generational differences; it’s another to have learned how to apply them.”Manager Feedback
To understand the gap in motivation, Invati:
- Applied multi-generational insight and industry research to determine root cause
- Verified theory with focus groups and employee engagement survey data
Based on the research, Invati determined that the gap in motivation would be best addressed at the work and career planning process. Because each employee was of a different age and different generation, they had different expectations and were in a different stage of life. Invati’s solution was to provide custom developed training for managers to best leverage the existing work plan process while addressing the different motivators of each generation.
The program was developed on the internal VLE (virtual learning environment e.g. Blackboard) platform. Invati reviewed the current work plan process and manager training, then created training that reinforced existing concepts as well as introduced multi-generational management insights. This resulted in a training that discussed coaching techniques and understanding of generational engagement and motivational drivers.
Managers appreciated the additional training with over 87% remarking that they will be able to apply what they’ve learned in their next conversation. They also appreciated the VLE training environment for this topic in comparison to traditional e-learning as they were able to interact and brainstorm with other managers as a part of the training.
Results from employee engagement survey pending. Additional focus areas were also identified through this process for managing across generations. Invati developed follow up modules in areas such as Proving Self (for lower tenure managers), Giving Feedback to Younger Generations, among other topics.