KnowledgeLeader Blog

Hot Issue: Leading a United Multigenerational Auditing Workforce

Posted by Sharise Cruz on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 09:52 AM

""If you take a look around your office, you might notice that it's more age-diverse than ever before. That's not really a coincidence - for the first time in history, the workforce spans five generations.

From Veterans to Baby Boomers, through Generations X, Y and Z, organizations now have a broad range of values, assets and habits to leverage for success. But balancing these different generations' best qualities against one another can be tricky.

In her article for KnowledgeLeader, "Leading a United Multigenerational Workforce," Ann Butera, MBA, CRP, stresses how cruicial it is for leaders to understand the relationships often formed between different generations so that they can capitalize on workplace diversity and develop symbiotic auditing teams.

"The key to developing an effecitve multigenerational audit team is to be a leader, not just a manager," says Butera in the article. "Not all leaders are managers and not all managers are leaders."

What does it take to be a leader? According to Butera, who is also President of The Whole Person Project, Inc., leaders distinguish themselves from managers in the following ways:

  • Leaders manifest calculated and strategic risk-taking and results-oriented behavior. They are comfortable taking risks because they deal with stress effectively.

  • Leaders are able to see problems where others don’t, and arrive at solutions which others don’t see.

  • Leaders are persistent, self-confident and have a distinct sense of personal identity.

  • Leaders are able to influence their colleagues’, clients’ and bosses’ behaviors, planting seedling ideas that shape the structure of ERM and overarching risk management practices.

  • While managers understand the necessity of keeping pace with new ideas and technological developments, leaders exploit new ideas and technology to manage the generational diversity.

This handy chart shows some of the general patterns of each generation to help you diagnose their workplace habits:

Baby Boomers
Also Known As
Matures, Gray Panthers, Seniors
X’ers, Post-Boomers
Millennials, Nexters, Generation Net
iGeneration, Net Generation, Homeland Generation
When Born
1922 – 1943
1943 – 1960
1960 – 1980
1980 – 2000
1992 - 2000
Core Values
Dedication, sacrifice, hard work, conformity, delayed reward, respect for authority, honor
Driven to pursue personal gratification and growth, team oriented, “me-oriented,” health and wellness
Balance, diversity, techno literacy, informality, self-reliance, pragmatism, “you can’t have it all,” “I am a product available for sale to the highest bidder”
Determination, optimism, confidence, achievement, sociability, street smarts, diversity, civic duty
Technological sophistication, diversity, keenly aware of and participatory in social issues, instant gratification, less concerned with privacy, distrustful, “do-it-yourself”,
On the Job Assets
Stable, detail-oriented, loyal, hardworking
Service-oriented, driven to perform, good team players
Adaptable, techno-literate, independent, un-intimidated by authority, creative
Optimism, tenacity, multitasking capabilities, technological savvy
Calculated risk-takers, technological chameleons, value ongoing education, multitaskers
Pair with:
Gen Yers and Zers – perhaps the hardest to mix, these three generations can meld old-school experience with modern workplace techniques and technology.
Gen Xers – balance this generation’s self-reliance with the Boomers’ drive to pursue personal gratification and growth to encourage solidarity.
Veterans – Veterans’ respect for conformity can encourage Xers to see the benefits of synchronizing personal individualism with team individualism.
Boomers – their mutual desire for personal gratification can create a bond where they will work together to finish audits efficiently and thoughtfully to reduce turnover.
Gen Y’ers – these two generations’ overlap, coupled with Millennials’ determination and optimism can be leveraged into creating a tech-savvy, forward-thinking audit department.


Topics: human resources, training & development, performance management, audit team, Ann Butera, Hot Issues, leadership

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