7 Tips for Effective Multigenerational Leadership

Amanda Cardoso | The Muse | Updated 3/4/2024

Multigenerational leadership has become a hot topic, sparking discussions on social media platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok—not to mention within office corridors. With Gen Z joining forces with Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, it’s no wonder there’s a unique dynamic unfolding.

While Gen-Z was born with an iPad in their hands, Millennials come from a time when sitting in front of a computer was the go-to for getting things done. In contrast, Gen-Xers and Boomers are more likely to pick up the phone for a call (to the frustration of many!).

As a manager, learning to navigate these differences is key to fostering a healthy and collaborative environment. By leveraging the strengths of each generation, from Gen Z’s digital fluency to Boomers’ communication skills, you can definitely increase efficiency within your team. But how to do that? Here’s some expert advice.

What is multigenerational leadership?

The concept of multigenerational leadership thrives on the diverse mix of workers from different generations in the same workplace. Think back to shows like “The Office,” which beautifully highlights this diversity with characters like Stanley, the stoic Boomer, Dwight, the dedicated Gen X assistant, and Kelly and Ryan, the tech-obsessed millennial duo.

Like the fictional Dunder Mifflin branch, workplaces currently can have up to four generations working side-by-side:

  • Boomers: people born between the ’40s and the early ’60s
  • Gen-X: people born between the mid ’60s and the early ’80s
  • Millennials: born between the mid ’80s and the mid-late ’90s
  • Gen-Z: born in the late ’90s

This means that today’s managers have in their team people who could be their parents, or grandparents working alongside colleagues younger than their children. “Multigenerational leadership is exciting and can really move the needle for an organization when it’s done well,” says Eloise Eonnet, career coach and communications expert.

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By MIT Sloan CDO