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The Effect of the Generational Shift on Your Supermarket Store

#The Effect of the Generational Shift on Your Supermarket Store

You may not realize it, but there is a generational shift taking place, and it is having an effect on your supermarket.

As the baby boomer generation continues to age, so does much of the workforce. At the same time, there is an ever-expanding youth bubble occurring at the opposite end of the spectrum, with the fastest growing element of the workforce comprised of individuals born in 1990 or later.

While baby boomers currently make up about 30 percent of the workforce, that number is expected to drop to less than 20 percent within the next five years. All the while, the younger age group will continue growing.

## What Does Such a Generational Shift Mean for Supermarket Operators Today?

First, the process of managing employees is going to become even more challenging. While it has always been difficult to manage people, it's going to get even more complex as the growing millennial workforce becomes increasingly high-maintenance.

As a result, managers will face even more pressure to help employees become more productive while using fewer resources. Managers will still have their own responsibilities they must juggle while simultaneously needing to devote more attention to younger workers who require more direction, guidance, coaching, and support.

This is particularly true of millennials, who tend to perform best with highly engaged leadership. The more structure and boundaries a millennial worker has, the better. Millennials also have a greater tendency to make requests regarding work conditions, including work location, scheduling, training, resource planning, dispute resolution, benefits, coaching, and more.

Managers will also need to cope with the effects of having an increasingly diverse workforce. Such diversity may lead to a greater tendency for workers to disagree, particularly in regards to employee decisions and policies. This may lead to questioning or challenging employer rules, instructions, rewards structures, or conditions.

In order to create an effective workplace, employers today will need to be highly engaged and strong while making a point of providing ongoing structured communication.

Employees will need to be held accountable on a daily basis. It will be important to set clear expectations, provide honest feedback, reward good work, and correct problems swiftly.

Inside staff common areas such as on the employee refrigerator using a "magnetic sign holder" or other type of sign display banner can prove to be an effective method for ensuring expectations are clearly displayed at all times while keeping employees on track.