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Dr Catherine Loughlin: Getting the Most out of Multi-Generational Employees

Sobey School Communications

Does your company depend on work teams? There aren't many companies that don't, and more and more often, those work teams bring together employees of a wide age range. Often teams are just expected to figure out how to work together. The "forming, storming, norming, performing" process can impact productivity for longer than anyone might like as teams learn to work effectively.

The research conducted by Dr. Loughlin and PhD student Cara-Lynn Scheuer suggest that managers can get teams working together better by doing a bit of 'conscious construction'.  When leaders were conscious of these four factors, multi-generational teams worked better.

The four factors are:

  • Reduce time pressure
  • Maximize trust
  • Minimize status distinctions
  • Encourage participative leadership (information sharing)

These four factors are essential to creating multi-generational employee teams that work. These are tips business managers can put to work today.



Insights from retail research conducted for the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services. Dr. Catherine Loughlin is the Canada Research Chair in Leadership and is the Associate Dean, Research and Knowledge Mobilization at the Sobey School of Business.


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