4 Tips for Handling the Multi-Generation Workforce in Senior Living Communities


As many as five generations are working together and nowhere is that as noticeable as in senior living communities. Residents are most likely of the Greatest Generation or early Baby Boomers. At the same time, the newest employees are Generation Z, just out of high school, or even working part-time after class. GenX and Millennials make up the core professional team. How can everyone co-exist when their birthdates span nearly a century?

Create a mentorship program

Veteran employees have plenty to share with their younger counterparts, but they don’t always get the opportunity to work with them. Ask older employees to take a newbie under their wing, so you don’t lose institutional knowledge when they retire.

Don’t discount the youth voice

The contribution of younger employees is often ignored. Millennials have been the butt of jokes for a decade, and now GenZ is getting an equal dose of snark. You might be surprised at what they have to offer. Fresh ideas for activities of interest to residents, new technologies to streamline services, and their energy and enthusiasm all bring value to your senior living community.

Offer different ways to learn

Different generations may have various ways of learning. Boomers may want to learn by doing, working side by side with a co-worker, or training as part of a group. GenXers might prefer reading a book or taking an online course where they can work at their own pace. Employees of the Millennial or GenZ age are typically accustomed to learning on the go and may prefer training they can consume in small bites on their smartphones.

Toss out the labels

Sure, the life experience of someone born before World War II is different from one born post 9/11. Still, people have more in common than we give each other credit for. Allow co-workers an opportunity to bond with each other informally. Workers tend to congregate with those they consider most like themselves. Encourage them to learn what they have in common. Conduct a survey of employee interest for those who would like to participate and provide discussion opportunities.

Partner with a Leading Hospitality Recruitment Expert

Whatever the generational makeup of your senior living staff, you’ll need the right people to manage them. That’s where the experts at Horizon Hospitality can help. If you are recruiting managers for senior living centers, we successfully recruit managers and executives all across the hospitality industry.  Contact our hospitality recruiters today to learn more.



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