Books: Multigenerational Workplace LeadersBy
Workplaces have changed at a dizzying rate, and it’s important for managers to factor in perspectives of multiple generations.
Lindsey Pollak is a Generation-X author, workplace expert, keynote speaker, and thought leader on Millennials in the workforce. Her book, The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace, provides a practical guide on how to best resolve the intergenerational conflict that may arise given the continually evolving concept of what the workplace is and can become. Her ideas are backed by examples, statistics, and best practices that she has observed, researched, and reported via various channels.
Managing Millennials—and being managed by Millennials—requires skills and knowledge that may not come as naturally to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. The Remix cites many sources to show how most workplaces have gotten more diverse rapidly. Adding to that diversity is the intergenerational mix of workers of different ages. Pollak gives examples, such as an 80-year-old lifeguard, to show that one shouldn’t make ageist assumptions.
The Remix includes examples of how each generation has a different view of work, life, and work-life balance. It’s important for management accountants and those who aspire to leadership roles in the finance profession to understand why people view work differently and how they expect their leaders to lead. The author gives specific examples of effective management tactics, information for readers to reimagine their own workplace, and some practical ideas on how to relate to managers and colleagues across the age spectrum.
Pollak provides a concise list of the “Rules for Remixers” for people who recruit, put together, or manage teams of different generations, and she subsequently expands on each rule. These are important ideas to remember, especially for those who entered the Traditionalist Generation’s top-down, command-structure workplace. Gen Xers and Millennials who initially had to adjust to the expectation of tracking “face-time” hours at a workplace now take it as a given that work can usually be done remotely from anywhere, and that view has become widespread regardless of generation since the start of the pandemic.
I recommend this book to anyone who leads or aspires to lead others in the accounting profession. Teams will be more creative, productive, and successful when all employees are better understood and their contributions appreciated. Professionals can use Pollak’s ideas immediately to make changes that will improve their work-life balance, provide a boost to their management and leadership skills, and make their workplace more collaborative and productive.