Statistics indicate that in the next 5 to 7 years, a significant part of senior management — roughly 30 percent — will retire, leaving leadership positions void. As this occurs, the generations X and Y will be left to pick up where their mentors left off, but how must businesses change to welcome these new leaders?

I recently read an article featuring a prominent company in my area and I made a mental note of benefits they offered their staff. Most prominent was a program that addressed the generational gap among the workforce. This company set up mentoring programs to encourage camaraderie among the various generations. What resulted was that the boomers were elated to share their knowledge of the business, while younger generations fulfilled their craving for additional learning opportunities, advancement possibilities and a fast-paced environment.

Another benefit specifically touched on maintaining an appropriate work/life balance, a feature that, according to the article, the younger generations cherish. Providing this perk can be challenging depending on the type of work, but employees commented that the flexibility from upper management encouraged them to work harder in appreciation.

As cleaning departments welcome the next generation of cleaners, it is important to develop programs that will keep employees motivated. Utilize your existing resources by encouraging mentoring programs and communicate with workers to develop incentives that will work for both the employees and the department as a whole.