While a multigenerational workforce has fantastic benefits, it can also create challenges in finding common working styles and approaches.
As millennials continue joining the workforce, organizations cannot desert the older generation; all must move forward together. Younger workers and older workers, working together, creating a more prosperous and more productive work environment.
Here are the four challenges we see most often in intergenerational offices.
What comes to mind for younger generations when they hear ‘working culture’ today are foosball tables and flexible working rules in the office. It’s great to have those at the office to stimulate happiness for your employees, but these perks do not necessarily define working culture.
Employers must set the tone at the workplace because how they receive the corporate culture will affect the entire business, not just one or two employees. Being strict in the office may be fine, but not celebrating your employees’ may cause damage to employee morale.
Consider hosting company events and happy hours and celebrating joyful occasions — these are excellent ways for everyone to grow together.
Interaction & Engagement
We have all heard about the differences in communication styles between older and younger workers:
- Gen Y’s are text and instant messaging as well as tweeting.
- The GenXers prefer emails and phone calls.
- Adding into the mix, Gen Z’s, you get informal language usage, emojis, and colloquialisms leading to a communication failures.
“Understanding what people value and what motivates them makes it much easier to communicate job expectations, offer the right type of support or even make adjustments that will better suit a team’s performance.” said Amy Casciotti, vice president of human resources at TechSmith Corporation.
To further enhance your team’s communications, face-to-face team-building exercises can break down barriers that impact virtual and physical interactions.
Baby boomers are set in their ways and can be stubborn, making it hard for millennials and Gen Z’s not to criticize them. Right?
Be careful not to generalize based upon these generational stereotypes; they are hard to overcome, can destroy company culture, and reduce productivity.
Be on the lookout for obstacles that create misunderstanding, incorrect judgments, and so forth. When managing a multigenerational workforce, encouraging collaboration across people in different age groups can lead to healthier outcomes.
Our expectations of the workplace will likely vary between this multi generational workforce. Leaders, and the businesses they work for, will benefit when they accept and allow their employees to work according to their styles and acknowledge their productivity.
Every age group must offer openness and flexibility for the multigenerational workforce to progress.