Leadership / Management | Organizational Development

Hear that? It’s the sound of peace among generations

Listen A new year brings with it a lot of the same old problems for CPAs at firms and companies across the nation.

Right at the top of the list are staffing concerns. And running in tandem with that, of course, are generational issues. We’ve got four generations working side by side in the office these days. Each has its own way of doing things, so the question is, how do we get 'em all to play nice?

Lin Kroeger says the answer might be as easy – and as hard – as listening. As with so many other things, the key to solving our generational issues, Kroeger says, is in communication – listening to each other, talking about our expectations, having real conversations about why what we do matters.

"We have to spend a lot more time talking and getting people to talk," says Kroeger, a management consultant with PWD Consulting and an instructor with the Business Learning Institute. "(The generations) are going to get along better when there is more opportunity for conversation and when everybody knows how to participate in that conversation to drive the business forward.

"One of the opportunities businesses are not taking great advantage of in that conversation is talking about what truly matters at the business – what turns them on, what makes a bigger difference to society at large if we do a great job," Kroeger adds. "Each generation likes to make a difference, and we need to have that discussion as often as we can so that (our work) is not about a bunch of tasks. It should be about creating something that actually makes a difference to someone and, perhaps, to society at large."

I spoke with Lin on the phone recently, and she offers lots of other great generational advice in a recent CPA Spotlight podcast.

Want to find out more? Check out Kroeger's related BLI seminars:

What's your best advice for calling a truce between workforce generations?


Bill Sheridan