Companies across virtually all sectors today face rapidly changing workplace dynamics and stiff competition to win over the best and brightest in order to achieve optimal business results in a global economy. Myriad technologies and social media networks have created tech-savvy hyper-connected workers, who offer immense value when motivated and nurtured but nevertheless have increasingly high expectations of those managing them.

Workplace demographics have drastically changed, now spanning four generations—the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y (also known as Millennials). In some cases, this means that twentysomethings are working alongside peers old enough to be their grandparents. At first blush, this might resemble “sitcom gold,” with comical culture clashes resolved in time for a coffee break. The real world, however, can be fraught with communication breakdowns and missed opportunities without care and planning. Indeed, in creating a positive age-neutral environment that fosters understanding, respect, and heightened productivity, claims managers are certainly not without challenges.

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