Valerie M. Grubb Tackles the Multigenerational Workplace in Her New Book, "Clash of the Generations"

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Valerie M. Grubb's latest book, "Clash of the Generations," will be published by Wiley in 2016.

"Managing employees is a challenging endeavor under any circumstances—and it’s even more difficult in the midst of generational culture clash." So says Valerie M. Grubb, management expert and author of the new book "Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality" (Wiley, 2016), which draws on her experiences over more than two decades of overseeing thousands of employees and on interviews with representatives of several companies with age-diverse workforces. The target audiences of this book are seasoned professionals as well as new managers.

"Millennials have been in the workforce for over 10 years, yet organizations and individual managers still struggle to crack the code for motivating and engaging the largest generation currently in the workforce," Grubb emphasizes. "Adding to this challenge is the fact that Baby Boomers are not retiring in the droves originally expected. Instead, the average retirement age has steadily been creeping up—and recent stats indicate that this number will continue to rise. Because Boomers are prolonging their time in the workplace, the old business model of 'the mature retire to make way for the new' no longer applies. Companies now find themselves with employees from a wider range of ages than ever before."

Senior leaders, managers, and HR professionals must now manage a blended workforce spanning four generations that vary wildly in their work ethics, ideas about work/life balance, and long-term career goals, among other concerns. “In order to manage people, you need to understand them,” Grubb explains. “And because generation-based experiences and attitudes greatly influence not only how employees do their own jobs but also how they relate to other employees, anyone who manages a multigenerational workforce should prioritize understanding those experiences and attitudes.” Managers who want to understand their employees’ values, motivations, strengths (and shortcomings), and career goals will value this book’s well-researched presentation of each generation's history, major influences, and interests.

Such information is indispensable to managers facing generational differences in the workplace, which, if unaddressed, can be disruptive and lead to serious misunderstandings. As the workplace becomes more age-diverse, managers must work harder to make sure that everyone gets along. In "Clash of the Generations," Grubb details proven strategies that managers and senior leaders can use immediately to incorporate the contributions of youth and the wisdom of age to give organizations a competitive edge in reaching more customers.

Because every generation adds its unique strengths to the workplace, embracing age diversity (and, in fact, celebrating inclusion and all types of diversity) has a positive impact on employee engagement and innovation efforts. "Many company leaders talk about welcoming diversity, but they're talking about ethnicity and gender rather than generational differences," Grubb points out. "It's so important that age diversity, along with diversity of any kind, become priorities. That can happen only if senior leaders make those goals company-wide business initiatives." She concludes, "Smart company executives will focus on engaging employees of all generations to put their best and brightest ideas to work for the company."

"Sometimes, it requires a lot of 'kicks at the can' to get the right formula for each individual employee," Grubb admits. Through her own decades of experience, she has developed practices that work in the real world, where employee and management expectations and understandings are fluid. Short on theory and long on tactics, "Clash of the Generations" provides proven strategies that managers and senior leaders can implement now to motivate and engage even their most challenging direct reports and get the best performance from employees of all ages.

"Clash of the Generations" is not an ordinary management book written by someone who merely theorizes about what it’s like to lead employees. This is a book written by someone who has lived in the management trenches for more than twenty years and has managed thousands of employees across several major organizations (including NBC Universal, Oxygen Media, IAC, and Rolls-Royce). As companies continue to cut training dollars, leaving only years of “on the job” training as the main venue for the development of management skills, this book presents a much-needed alternative for anyone wanting to increase his or her management acumen. With Clash of the Generations, managers now have the knowledge and tools they need to reduce conflict in the workplace, achieve their own professional goals, and help everyone in the corporate sandbox reach his or her highest potential.

About the Author

Valerie M. Grubb is the principal of Val Grubb & Associates Ltd., which she founded after holding a succession of leadership roles within major corporations (including NBC Universal, Oxygen Media, InterActiveCorp, and Rolls-Royce). She is an innovative and visionary operations leader with an exceptional ability to zero in on the systems, processes, and human capital issues that can hamper a company’s growth.

Grubb graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Kettering University and obtained her MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She remains highly involved with the Kelley School as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. She also serves as president of the New York Chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications and is a board member of the New Orleans Film Society.

Grubb has published a book about her experiences traveling around the world with her mom, "Planes, Canes, and Automobiles: Connecting with Your Aging Parents through Travel" (Greenleaf Book Group, 2015). Her latest book is "Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality" (Wiley, 2016).

"Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality"
By Valerie M. Grubb
Wiley, October 2016
Hardcover, 224 pp., $21.67
ISBN-13: 978-1119212348

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