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The New Melting Pot? Managing Communications with the Different Generations in Today's Workforce

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Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials – today's workplace is at a major crossroads as four generations bring different ideas and expectations to their roles in an organization. So what can a leader do to get them to understand each other, let alone work together? The studies/literature on the topic of generations is fairly limited thus far, but enough has been done to provide a base knowledge of how the generations operate and what they expect on the job. Utility leaders will do well to take note of these trends as they begin trying to replace a 30-year person with someone who may only be around three years or even less. It will impact how they recruit, train, and retain a skilled workforce even as the industry itself adjusts to ever evolving circumstances, such as more stringent regulations, a more vocal public, and climate changes. By understanding where your employee is coming from you can tailor your organization's communications and work processes to make the most of your workforce.

This paper will seek to identify and define the various generations and how they fit into an organization. It will also explain how utilities can gain a better understanding of what their employees expect from them and how communications can be the glue that binds an organization together regardless of the different generations it employs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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