The NonProfit Workplace Is Changing: Four Generations Are Now Sharing the Office

PNP Staffing Group has released its 2015—2016 NonProfit Salaries & Staffing Report and it hits on a hot topic. The nonprofit workplace has dramatically changed over the past few years, and continues to change as four generations meet at the office door each day.

Four generations are currently sharing the workplace:

  1. Traditionalists (born 1922-45)
  2. Baby Boomers (born 1946-64)
  3. Generation X (born 1965-80)
  4. Millennials, also called Gen Y (born 1981-2000)

These four groups of employees differ in their communications, learning, and work styles, largely due to the evolution of technology and generational culture.

Much like a multigenerational household, the flow of information at work is a cornerstone to a healthy environment. Nonprofit organizations need to develop a coaching culture where managers and staff willingly transfer knowledge to each other, and as many know, this is often easier said than done.

Communicating effectively—and fostering an understanding of different workplace communication styles—is important to keeping employees happy. Traditionalists and Baby Boomers have the experience and historical knowledge that every organization needs. Gen X and Millennials hold a wealth of knowledge about the use of technology and often want “to do things differently”. It is essential that managers understand and respect new and differing perspectives.

The Rise of Generation Y, the Millennials

PNP’s survey shows that nearly 50% of respondents, from New York to DC, said that approximately half their current staff is comprised of this age group – and the number is growing. This on-going change has many implications, and paying attention to the priorities and expectations of Gen Y will be a critical factor in 2016 for recruiting and retaining talented staff.

Ingrid Johnson, author of Coaching to Transfer Knowledge from One Generation to Another for Diversity Plus, writes, “It is not practical to hire external coaches for every employee. A better approach is developing a coaching culture so that managers and staff willingly assume responsibility for the transfer of knowledge. “

Add to Today’s Tasks. Download the 2015-2016 NonProfit Salaries & Staffing Report to learn more.

By: ROBERT DUVALL, Ph.D., Manager, Special Projects, PNP Staffing Group

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