Your workplace might be comprised of employees and managers from four different generations. The age differences between your youngest employees and most experienced employees could be anywhere from one to 50 years.
The workforce now has the Silent Generation (born before 1946), the Baby Boomer Generation (born 1946-1964), Generation X (born 1965-1980), and Generation Y or the Millennial Generation (born 1981-2000). Each generation may come with its own approaches and ideals, but they all have assets to bring to the table. Employees of all generations need to be led in a way that makes an organization cohesive and united.
It takes time to figure out how to approach your multigenerational workplace, while maintaining the company culture and environment. Here are three tips to consider when leading your multigenerational workplace:
Be flexible and open to new ideas
If you have employees born in a different generation than you, it is likely that they can have different ideas that might fit with their generation. Differences are not a bad thing. They can lead to ideas and approaches that you might not have thought of or considered. Be open to ideas that challenge your way of thinking and lead to an innovative approach.
Initiate open communication about needs
Employees across multiple generations might possess a variety of workplace needs or preferences. You may prefer face-to-face communication or a personal note. However, an employee in a different generation might prefer email or a text message.
Employees may also need different types of motivation. While Generation X tends to be motivated by results, Generation Y can be associated with being motivated by achievements. You will have to be open to asking questions and figuring out how employees are motivated.
Eliminate generational stereotypes
You as a manager are expected to have open communication with your employees, yet you should also encourage open discussion amongst employees. Encourage people to discuss their differences, whether they be strengths or weaknesses. This can help to eliminate any generational stereotypes. Open communication could lead to the discovery of a Silent Generation employee’s social media skills.
A multigenerational workplace is one that has a variety of approaches, ideas, and skills that can all be used to strengthen an organization. Instead of taking a general approach to leading all of your employees, figure out how to use their variety of skills most effectively.
For additional tips for managing a multigenerational workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.
Photo Source: US Department of Labor