How many different generations do you have in your company? In recent times, it is common to find up to five different generations in a company. With this diversity in ages, how do you manage the needs of each generation and create a prosperous work environment for everyone?
But before we dive into the tips, let’s look at the different generations that are currently in the workforce. Here is a brief outline of each generation.
Different generations currently in the workforce
The traditionalists or silent generation
The traditionalists or silent generation were born between 1925 to 1945. They form a small minority in the workforce and generally hold advisory roles in business. Most have retired. They value tradition and hard work. They may struggle to adapt to the new technologies.
The baby boomers
The baby boomers were born between 1946 to 1964. They are individuals who are working towards retirement. They are thought to be hardworking, self-assured, goal-orientated and disciplined.
Generation X was born between 1965 to 1980. This generation is sometimes called the “sandwich generation” because they need to take care of the family’s elders and their own children. They are considered independent, direct, and adaptable.
Millennials were born between 1981 to 2000. They are tech-savvy and crave recognition for their efforts. When they do tasks, they look for a sense of achievement to perform at their best.
Generation Z was born between 2001 to 2020. They have had technology since birth. They are the most diverse and open-minded. They look to make a mission-driven impact in the work they do.
With these groups in mind, let’s look at four tips for managing this diverse group.
Four tips for managing this diverse group
TIP 1: Be curious about one another
Everyone has different beliefs and biases about other generations but before we lump our colleagues into the generalisation of a group, we need to speak to them and learn about who they are. Often, we will learn that other generations share more similarities with us than differences. Most people want to work in a happy environment, do a great job, and be recognised for their contribution to building the business.
TIP 2: Have clear communication lines
It is true, each generation has a preferred way to communicate. Generations from 1981 and beyond have adopted communication via email, instant messaging, and social media. Whereas generations before 1981 prefer telephones and face-to-face meetings. In general, text messaging and email can be used for general information or when there are facts that need to be considered before an answer is rendered. For more sensitive topics, it may be better to use face-to-face or telephonic communication.
TIP 3: Show respect
Everyone wants to be respected in business. We are all different. Not only in age, but in our experiences of life on earth. Therefore, find out from your team members what motivates them, what unique experiences have they had, and what work style do they prefer. By considering each team player as an individual you will learn how to bring the best out of them for the business.
TIP 4: Encourage mentorship
We usually think of mentorship as the older generation teaching the younger generation, but this can be reversed too. Let the young ones learn from their elders about the foundation of the business but also allow the young ones to share their ideas on how they think certain processes can be enhanced.
By engaging in these four tips, you will be able to manage your team to achieve the goals you have set to excel in your industry.
Proudly brought to you by the NSBC