Reboot Partners hosted a Forum on Managing the Multigenerational Workforce in late March in New York City. KPMG graciously provided the venue. The morning brought together corporate human resource and talent executives to share perspectives, insights, and best practices. We found it stimulating and informative, as everyone in the room contributed to the sharing and learning, which began to change the conversation on this important topic.

We specially want to thank our futurist extraordinaire, Edie Weiner, for her brilliant keynote address and joining the panel. Edie set the context and challenged us to find ways to recognize and overcome “educated incapacity.” She also talked about changing the conversation from human resources to productivity resources, and she stressed understanding realities. And, not to be missed was her advice to solve problems with both male (energy) and female (process) brains for best results.

We are grateful to the panel and FlashTalk leaders for their excellent insights and engagement of the group. They are listed further on in the agenda.

Following are some key points we took away that we believe form a strong compilation of observations, advice, and best practices on managing the multigenerational workforce of today and tomorrow:

  • Find ways to recognize and overcome “educated incapacity.”
  • Change the conversation from human resources to productivity resources.
  • How do we get more understanding of realities?
  • Solve problems with both male (energy) and female (process) brains for best results.
  • Find new ways for generations to work together but get away from a conversation too focused on generations.
  • Update the workplace for greater productivity (more natural light, etc.)
  • Get away from being judgmental about other generations.
  • Institute learning rather than training.
  • Don’t lose all Boomers at once!
  • Consider creating a free marketplace for people nearing retirement.
  • As Millennials leave jobs after a short time and move around more, rethink to: turnover is not bad but is expected and can be good.
  • Understand the “gig economy.”
  • Attract new talent through a learning culture.
  • Understand the move from hierarchical power to shared power.
  • Recognize we are all stewards of our own careers.
  • Appreciate there’s a grieving process around change.
  • Millennials and Boomers alike want to be valued.
  • Robots have moved to be a public issue because of taking jobs away, but it’s less of a real threat to jobs than it is an issue hotly discussed in the public.
  • Rethink your business model to be more flexible.
  • Know the “superconnectors.”
  • Get your Millennials to know your culture and values and to be your ambassador in the world.
  • Mentor Millennials on problem-solving skills.
  • Understand the impact of gamification.
  • There are five generations in the workforce, but none of these are a monolith, for example, don’t lump all Boomers together, nor age 65-100, and don’t lump all Millennials.
  • Understand the 15-18 year olds and how they will influence the workforce of the future.

Clearly, the question of how to accomplish all those points – and many more from the forum conversation – could be explored and expanded further. We believe this was a good start in confronting the complexity of the multigenerational workforce.



Introductory Remarks – Sue Townsen, Partner and Chief Diversity Officer, KPMG LLP

Keynote Speaker – Edie Weiner, President and CEO, The Future Hunters

Topic: “The Big Picture: Where Are We, And Where are We Heading?”

Panel – Trends, Psychology, and What’s Going On

  • Christopher Bishop ­– Former Strategic Partner, Future Workplace; Associate, Reboot Partners LLC
  • Jared Kleinert – Founder of Kleinert Ventures and 3 Billion Under 30; author of Two Billion Under 20 and Three Billion Under 30
  • Hara Marano – Editor-at-Large, Psychology Today
  • Kurt Metzger – Vice President, Learning and Career Development, Prudential

FlashTalk Speakers/Facilitators – Best Practices and Changing the Conversation

  • Christopher Bishop – Strategic Partner, Future Workplace; Associate, Reboot Partners LLC
  • Kurt Metzger – Vice President, Learning and Career Development, Prudential
  • Rebecca (Becky) Rumer –Chief Administrative Officer, Synovus Financial Corporation

Moderators: Reboot Co-Founding Partners Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, and Jaye Smith,

Some Resources:

The Future Hunters –

Reboot Partners LLC –

Harvard, Yale, and Stanford studies on unconscious bias

Santa Fe Institute work on diversity

Sue Townsen, Huffington Post, Jan. 19, 2017, “Stop Worrying about Job-Hopping Employees and Continue to Invest in Their Career Development

Allen, Bearg, Smith, The Retirement Boom: An All-Inclusive Guide to Money, Health, and Life in Your Next Chapter, Career Press, 2016.

Allen, Bearg, Foley, Smith, Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break, Beaufort Books, 2011.