Thrive in a Multi-Generational Office


Across the country and across industries, more generations than ever before are working together. In office buildings and factories, it is not uncommon to find a Tradionalist (born between 1925-1946) working alongside a Generation Xer (born between 1965-1980) and a Generation Zer (born after 1998) while being supervised by a Baby Boomer (born between 1946-1964). Likewise, in Fortune 500 companies and small nonprofits, you can easily find a Millennial (born between 1980-1998) leading older team members.

Each group of employees has its own distinct characteristics, work ethic and attitude toward authority, based on its generation’s life experiences, according to Tracey Quada, Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s student employment relations liaison and a recognized expert on the topic of working with various generations in the workplace.

“For the first time in history, we have five different generations in the workforce,” Quada said. “To be successful and retain employees, companies need to start dispelling myths about these generations and acknowledge and leverage the positive attributes of each.”

This summer, Quada will lead a new workshop, Generations at Work, through Kalamazoo Valley’s corporate training department. The workshop, which is open to the public, will be held August 3 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Groves Center, 7107 Elm Valley Drive. It costs $175 and includes training materials and food service.

In the seminar, participants will learn how to effectively work with each generation represented in the workplace. Quada will look at the assets and liabilities of each generation and provide specific tips for supervising and working with different generations.

According to Kate Miller, corporate training manager for Kalamazoo Valley, many area employers have realized how important it is to adapt their cultures and policies to cater to different age segments of our community. “Work-life balance means so many different things to different people, understanding what each generation is looking for is a good starting point for employers and managers interested in keeping their teams happy,” Miller said. “From a diversity and inclusion standpoint, multi-generational workforces are bringing both new challenges and opportunities. This workshop equips leaders with tools to support these dynamic groups.”

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
• Recognize stereotypes and actualities about the different generations in the workplace
• Understand the unique strengths and weaknesses of each generation
• Discuss case studies of cross generational work situations
• Apply supervising strategies for each generation by each generation
• Determine if their workplace is cross generationally friendly

“This workshop is another tool in your toolbox,” Quada added. “It won’t fix all of the problems in the workforce, but it will give you the language and tactics needed to make noticeable changes. It takes time, effort and commitment from the top down to be a generationally friendly workforce.”

For more information, contact Miller at To register visit

This article was posted on 05/14/2018.