Ron Cullimore for Manila Recruitment
In the workplace, age is indeed only a number. More companies now embrace age diversity, with the U.S. recording a mix of three generational cohorts in the workforce. Baby Boomers (1946–1964) make up 25% of the population, Generation X (1965–1980) at 33%, and the Millennials (1981–2000) taking up the majority at 35%
While inclusivity inevitably brings a ton of benefits to a business, cultural differences that come along with it also warrant more checks and considerations. Just think about the communication gaps: how that may hinder the daily workflow and cause a disconnect within the team.
As a leader, when a situation or problem arises, you must look at how this will affect your staff through several specific lenses.
According to a study by Deloitte, 70% of organizations say leading multigenerational workforces is vital for their growth. However, only 6% strongly agree that their leaders are ready to do so.
Authority can dictate the rhythm of a company. To orchestrate your business to success, here are a few ways you can become an effective leader in a multigenerational workplace:
No single person can drive a business forward, which is why it’s vital to foster collaborative efforts and knowledge-sharing sessions to strengthen your company’s problem-solving and strategy-building skills.
These activities are also the perfect opportunity to develop employee engagement. Weekly group tasks or monthly presentations from subject-matter experts within the team could open a line of fruitful exchange of ideas and easier conversations.
Communication is different for every individual, especially per generation. Although your primary concern should be getting the message across clearly, picking the right channel to reach out to your employees is just as critical.
Since they value visibility in the office, open your doors for any face-to-face discussions with your baby boomer personnel. Meanwhile, utilize your office messaging app to get in touch with your millennial staff for any urgent requests or concerns. Lastly, with Gen X, try a mixture of in-person and virtual lines for a more productive relaying of information.
As a leader, you must remember that while all your subordinates are working toward the same company goals, their journey to get there is backed by different principles.
Moreover, the idea of constantly innovating and mastering skillsets is a main driving force for your juniors, in comparison to the promised freedom of retirement that’s the most appealing to the older generation.
Knowing where your employees are coming from can help you better grasp why they do what they do.
Think about work setup, for instance. While the concept of flexible hours is not new, 31% of baby boomers still prefer the standard 9-to-5 workday. This timeframe, as well as their preferred dress code in the workplace, helps them draw a barrier between work and personal life.
Meanwhile, since more millennials function on a to-do list daily, 81% of them are more inclined to work anytime and anywhere as long as they get the job done on time. This flexibility also constitutes a required “me time” on the job to avoid burnout culture, to which only 39% of the older generations can relate.
Every individual has something they can bring to the table. Regardless of age, trust your members to contribute to the team and make the most out of their diverse skills.
Welcome the years of expertise from your baby boomers, and let the others adopt this generation’s resourcefulness and laser-like focus at work. Task your Gen X on projects that require managing time properly and smartly. Lastly, challenge your millennials with assignments that will allow them to utilize the latest technologies and new thought processes in the market.
In business, learning never stops. So, provide regular work feedback to help your employees pinpoint where they need improvement and where they’re already excelling. Offer reciprocal mentorship sessions, too, where young workers mentor older ones and vice versa.
The topics for consultations could range from automation to business processes—the possibilities are endless!
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
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