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Branford J. McAllister


Millennial-based changes in a multigenerational workplace create workplace issues among the four generations, diminishing collaboration and harmony in the workplace, and consequently decreasing effectiveness and efficiency. There was a lack of knowledge and understanding about how these changes affect the older generations (traditionalists, baby boomers, and Generation X) in the workplace. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how millennial-focused changes in the workplace have affected the older generations. The conceptual framework was Mannheim’s problem of generations and Reed and Thomas’s management-by-generations. The research question concerned the lived experiences of older generation workers related to management decisions and workplace policies directly focused on the millennial generation. Fourteen members of the older generations who currently worked in a multigenerational workplace that had made millennial-focused changes were selected by purposive sampling. Data collected through individual interviews were analyzed and hand coded. Seven themes were identified: generational differences, appearance, professional etiquette, employee benefits, recruiting, increased reliance on technology, and workplace environment. The main finding was that all the participants agreed that the younger generations are critical to a thriving workplace; however, there is a need to consider all generations when making policies in the workplace. To create positive social change, organizational leaders need to understand the needs of all generational employees, update policies, and make management decisions that account for those needs.

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