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Bridging The Gap In The Multigenerational Workplace


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There are four generations currently out in the workforce; this guide explains those generations and tips to help them work together efficiently.

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Bridging The Gap In The Multigenerational Workplace

  1. 1. BRIDGING THE GAP IN THE MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKPLACE There can be some significant differences in how different generations of workers feel about their jobs. These varying philosophies can affect how they work together. Understanding these differences and how employers can work with them is critical for any multigenerational workplace. Here are some key things employers should know about managing a multigenerational workplace. 1. Diversify Communication Strategies Although older employees may be fine with verbal communication, the younger generations may not get the message unless it’s in an email or instant message. Using multiple communication modes ensures all generations get the information. 2. Emphasize Mentoring Older employees have a wealth of experience that can be useful for younger coworkers — think of it as informal training. Partnering them can help build a stronger team environment within your workplace. Likewise, younger employees can share new ideas and technological expertise with their older counterparts. This is a reason to build and promote a community environment. 3. Be Flexible With Benefits Because not all generations value the same things, they may not be motivated in similar ways. For example, younger people appreciate a looser approach to scheduling so they can achieve work/life balance, while older employees may be more receptive to opportunities for sabbaticals during which they can learn new skills. Flexible perks and benefits allow you to satisfy everyone. 4. Use Multiple Management Styles Older generations have a different relationship with authority than the younger ones, so don’t assume that you can manage them all the same way. A hands-off approach tends to work better with younger employees, so try coaching them instead of managing them directly. 5. Keep an Open Mind Although a mix of differing viewpoints is one of the biggest challenges of managing a multigenerational workplace, it’s also one of the biggest advantages. If you remain open to new ideas, the various viewpoints of your multigenerational workers can provide you with unexpected insight and solutions. Here’s a look at how some experts classify different generations of workers Defining Generations of Workers “VETERAN” WORKERS Born between: 1922 and 1943 • Tend to believe strongly in the idea of earning respect • Value hard work and following the rules • Respect authority, but only when they believe that authority has been earned GENERATION X Born between: 1960 and 1980 • Value diversity and work/ life balance • Less career-oriented than other generations • Tend to be self-sufficient and skeptical of authority BABY BOOMERS Born between: 1943 and 1960 • Value personal growth and personal gratification • Typically place their own goals over the goals of their employers • Show high degrees of ambition and team involvement MILLENNIALS Born between: 1980 and 2000 • Value open-mindedness and achievement • Are less resistant to change than other generations • Prefer to be coached rather than supervised Tips for Bridging the Generation Gap Award