Today, perhaps the oldest employee/s you could have in your company is a Baby Boomer (youngest generation age is 52) while your youngest employee/s is most likely to be a millennial which comprise of about 53 million workforces. With such a diverse but talented team to work for your organization, you cannot avoid a clash between generational differences. This is especially true when different generations have different promising ideas about certain business processes but doesn’t coincide with each other.
When this kind of situations is not addressed, it can turn out to be more of a burden to your organization than an opportunity. It could take its toll and your business might end up going downward spiral.
So to address this kind of workplace problem, here are some tips you and your employees can learn so you can have a harmonious relationship in your organization.
Different Work Styles Can Work Together
We can hardly deny prejudice in the workplace. While Baby boomers are loyal, competitive and are willing to sacrifice to get ahead, they may be thought to be bossy, over-thinkers, boring and unfriendly by Gen Xers and Millennials.
On the other hand, Gen Xers who are generally independent, logical and self-sufficient, may be perceived as skeptical, uncompetitive and narrow-minded by other generations. And of course, Millennials who are adaptable, open-minded, emotional and a team-player may be seen as happy-go-lucky, unloyal, careless and dependent by generations before them.
Your job is to determine the working styles of each generation so they can work together as one team. Take note of the hints which can tell you how they work.
Millennials, for example, are more comfortable with technology as compared to Baby Boomers. Gen Xers, on the other hand, while they grow up with technology, they might be a little skeptical to try something new in technology. On the other hand, Baby Boomers tend to have good organizational skills when it comes to offline tasks and Generation X workers work productively when given less supervision.
With these hints, you can tell how different generations work. You can figure out how you can align these different working styles. You will have a better idea on who to delegate certain tasks based on who can work best with the given tools and situation. It is simply an “aces on their places”.
Finding The Right Time To Step Back Or Take The Lead
In connection to their different working styles, you can teach your employees from different generations to open their minds and appreciate the roles of other employees. You can set up or build a mentoring program. This will encourage different employees to share their skills and strengths and teach others in developing such skills.
Millennials can teach Baby Boomers and Gen X employeers on how to use the ever-changing technology to be more productive. Likewise, Baby Boomers can train other on offline professional skills and Gen Xers can coach about work independence and proactiveness.
Through mentoring programs to their fellow employees, your team can develop respect for each other. More than that, you are also helping your employees to be well-rounded professionals.
Utilize A Multi-Channel Communication Process
As a part of your study about the different working styles in your company, you should be aware of the different communication techniques of every generation. Baby Boomers, for example, like a more personal approach such as memos, phone calls and personal conversation. Generation Xers are used to emails and voice mails. On the other hand, Gen Yers communicate with new media such as texting, social media and live videos and chats.
That is why it is crucial for you to adopt a multi-channel communication technique. In a multi-channel approach, you use various communication media to deliver your message across. This is to ensure that your messages can reach everyone and they understand whatever you want to impart to them.
If you want your talents to stay with you, you have to understand their expectations and address them. But this does not mean that you should address them one by one; this will exhaust your resources. You need to find the common ground and focus on proving their needs as a whole.
Though each of these generations is different in many ways, they still have one thing in common. They like to be in a workplace which can provide them with professional growth more than financial achievements. So it only makes sense to create a workplace that put importance to the professional values and goals of every individual in the team.
Every person in your organization has their own professional strengths and weaknesses which bring impact to your business. It is important that you figure out how individual strengths can work together. This is to minimize weaknesses for the greater good of the organization as well for their personal and professional development.
It’s all about empowerment. Avoid sticking to the same old routines; it’s time for you to re-evaluate your processes. It’s about time that you start developing a process that will help you bridge the gap between different generations.