Fitness facilities worldwide are filled with employees and contractors whose ages span multiple generations. With each generation comes a different work ethic and sense of how responsibilities are handled. For a fitness facility owner or manager, an understanding of generational differences can help foster a sense of community and success among staff. Here are tips for managing a multigenerational staff, courtesy of Chicago-based Lakeshore Staffing:

  • 1. Traditionalists (born between 1922 and 1945). Considered to be dedicated, moderate and stable, Traditionalists are typically motivated to work hard and tend to thrive best when employers publicly recognize their knowledge and experience.
  • 2. Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). Baby Boomers are results oriented and likely to do “whatever it takes” to achieve success. Researchers suggest that as Baby Boomers step closer to retirement, employers should allow greater schedule flexibility to keep them on the job.
  • 3. Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980). Generation Xers are independent and place greater value on family and community than on work commitments. They “work to live” and are most productive when they believe in what they are doing. Keep Generation X engaged by providing them with responsibilities that help them feel fulfilled.

  • 4. Millennials (born between 1981 and 2000). Millennials tend to abhor rigid structure and hierarchy and are often technologically savvy. They are good at multitasking and expect immediate input. Foster success among this group by being clear about expectations, communicating often and establishing mentoring programs.

To learn more about managing multiple generations, see “Spanning the Generations” by Biray Alsac, MS, in the July–August 2009 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.