Generational Leadership


The City of Oceanside, with a workforce of over 1.000 employees representing all 4 generations, recognized the changing needs of the younger generations entering the workplace. The City wanted to assure retention of those currently employed and support the City's ongoing succession efforts. They understood the need to invest time and attention with employees at all levels of the organization to assure that qualified applicants existed for each current and future opening.

Recognizing that each generation has its own work ethic, different perspectives on work, preferred ways of being managed and unique ways of viewing work issues as quality, service and showing up for work, the City decided to pursue a Citywide Mentoring Program in support of generational leadership.

The City of Oceanside choose to partner with I4R to help them create and implement a customized Citywide Mentoring program to address issues associated with generational leadership and succession. The mentoring program would provide an atmosphere of shared learning, allow mentees to identify organization and individual goals and enable action to reach them and ultimately improving morale.

Identified Need

I4R's approach to fulfill the client's objective covered the following fundamentals of mentoring and attention to the importance of generational leadership:

  • Create a customized inclusive application process to encourage a broad cross section of applicants for mentee and mentor roles

  • Incorporate both individual and group mentoring into the program

  • Focus on the importance of the individual's responsibility to manage their own career

  • Provide the tools, resources and support for individuals to craft Individual development plans to target their career goals

  • Incorporate 9 face to face mentoring meetings over a 12- month period

We worked in partnership with the Training Officer and Human Resources to customize a program that would be most successful within the City of Oceanside culture and become part of their ongoing development culture versus a one-time intervention.


The customized program was successful due to the partnership we shared in designing, developing and rolling out the program elements. The shared dialogue included identifying the best way to market the program internally, the questions asked on the application and the content for the policy guide that provided the structure and added resources to the participants.

The new Mentoring Program that would support generational leadership and succession consisted of the following elements:

  • An invitation to attend the orientation session on the Mentoring Program, 170 individuals attended the sessions.

  • 105 applications were submitted to participate as Mentors, Mentees or both.

  • 93 applicants were approved to participate as Mentees or Mentors in the program

  • Delivered a customized Mentor training and Mentee training for the 93 participants in the program

  • Incorporated a DVD call "Mixing the Generations" shown to both mentors and mentees in a shared meeting at the start of the program

  • Incorporated 9 face to face mentoring meetings over a 12 month period. Meetings could be scheduled on work time and last 2 hours each meeting.

  • Each Mentee was required to submit their Individual Development Plan by the 3rd month in the program


The program had the support and involvement of the City Manager and the executive leadership team, many who served as mentors in the program. The mentoring program was well received and benefited each of the participants. The Training Officer was the glue that kept the program moving forward. She was the key internal contact that mentors or mentee could contact if they had any questions, needs or challenges. The Individual development plans were all submitted to her so there was a level of accountability woven into the program.

Approximately 10% of the participants were promoted or saw their jobs enhanced due to the program. The majority of the others engaged in the program received huge benefits in job clarity and personal interests. The City's Tuition Reimbursement program sky-rocketed as participants took action on their goals established in their Individual Development Plans. In addition, employees made invaluable contacts with upper management.

The Mentoring Program won the IPMA Agency Award For Excellence Medium Size Agency 2009.