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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Managing the multigenerational workforce: Lessons German companies can learn from Silicon Valley

  • Author(s): Klaffke, Martin
  • et al.

Germany is undergoing a dramatic demographic change that requires its organizations to make workforce talent of all ages a strategic priority. Practitioners in Germany focus largely on Generation Y employees, because this young employee cohort expresses new and different work-related values. However, diverse attitudes and behaviours of employees of different age groups can poten­tially lead to conflict and have an overall negative impact on orga­nizational performance. Given US labour legislation and media pressure, managing workforce diversity has been on the agenda of U.S. organizations for many years. Consequently, it can be assumed that there are areas in which German organizations can learn best practices from the U.S. experience. Although data collected from Silicon Valley organizations suggest that taking specific action for managing the multi-generational workforce is currently not a pressing issue in the tech industry, setting up innovative workplaces is an action field in which Germany can learn from its U.S. counterparts.

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