A while back I had the pleasure of listening to Irene Kinuthia, Director of Coaching Strathmore Business School speak on an topic that I found both interesting and informative – “Engagement in Multigenerational Workplace.” She ably highlighted what may seem like an obvious observation – the various generations in most organizations workforce and even in families, and the traits in each generation. 

It was after listening to her that I understood some “nobody understands me” conversations I had with my parents, siblings and now my children. My parents are somewhere between traditionalists and  baby boomers, 2 of my siblings and I are X-gens while our last born is a Y-gen and my children squarely millennials.

With this in mind, I then wonder how are organizations faring if they have not taken note of these different clusters of people in their workforce? I appreciate Irene’s talk since I now understand how to bridge the gaps – especially in communication between the generations.

Working with the millennials  and getting the most out of them, seems a challenge to many even afar. The head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Jim Tomsula together with his coaching staff, realized that they are dealing with the same problem as millions of parents.

According to Kevin Clark’ s article – “The NFL Team That Is Solving Millennials.” He states that even though they were getting ready for the fall, when they’ll face their most daunting opponents. The Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals come to mind. At the moment, however, they are preparing to face a force many find truly terrifying: millennials.

The issue was how to relate to a generation—generally described as  a generation that has been raised on smartphones and instant information.

After engaging experts, ranging from Stanford University researchers to advertising executives to learn how, exactly, the young brain works, they seem to have found solutions that worked for them.

This however did not just happen, there were unsettling discoveries such as the coach’s discovery on the millennials attention span-  “The [experts] are telling me about attention spans and optimal learning,” he said. “I’m thinking, ‘My gosh, we sit in two-hour meetings. You are telling me after 27 minutes no one’s getting anything?’ ”

And then there were changes to be made and adopted in order to achieve the intended goals.  You can read the rest of the article here.

After reading this article, I beg to ask the question, are we getting the most out of our teams?

Time has come to change our organizational culture to accommodate the Y-Gen and millenials who very soon will be the majority in the workforce.




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Pauline is the CEO at Allen Cole, also consults for iWork and Elite Writers Hub. She works with small and medium size organizations to increase their visibility online through corporate blogging, content creation, website development and social media engagement.