Aug 25, 2022
SAF to Tackle Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

With so many different characteristics and motivations in today’s multi-generational workforce, it can be difficult for a manager to oversee, inspire and integrate their diverse team. That challenge is at the heart of a keynote presentation Gen Z to Boomers: Working Together for Success, at SAF Orlando 2022, the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) 137th annual convention Sept. 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.

Baby Boomers are hardworking and strive for stability, prestige and financial reward. Gen X is self-sufficient and resourceful and values a good life-work balance. Millennials are tech-savvy and seek meaningful work. Gen Z is highly connected, loyal to brands that support their values and enjoys instant gratification. So how can a leader maximize the abilities of each generation?

During the presentation employee retention and recruitment expert Jeff Kortes and life coach Randy Wilinski will role play, share real life experiences and offer strategies to leverage each generation’s talents without clashes and turn a business into a finely oiled machine.

“We are going to be training on how to optimize the generations for greatness, especially the three obstacles that get in the way of getting performance out of all of your team members across generations,” Wilinski says.

Generational divides are a challenge many in the floral industry are experiencing; the topic also came up during a session at SAF’s Next Gen LIVE! event in Miami earlier this month, where a panel of young managers and business owners discussed how to be a young boss and manage different generations of workers.

It’s a historic time for the dynamics organizations face: there are five generations side by side in the workplace. While this shift presents an incredible opportunity for organizations to capitalize on the strengths of employees from diverse generations, it also creates challenges that have never been experienced before.

Communication is key, the panel agreed. “Keep communication open regardless of generation,” said Jodi McShan, AAF, of McShan Florist in Dallas, Texas, where employees range in age from teens to late 60s. “It’s a different conversation for each generation, though. Each person needs a different connection.”

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.