Managing a multigenerational workforce is challenging for many reasons. For one, every person is loyal to the generation they’re from, even if they say they wish that they were born in a different decade.
In a professional setting, you want to make sure that this loyalty to one’s generation does not hinder their work.
If you have the task of managing a multigenerational workforce, then this article is for you. Here are six helpful tips that can help you with that job.
When managing a multigenerational workforce, you have to get rid of any preconceived notions about each generation. Although it’s common to rib about the stereotypes between each generation, it’s not a good idea to perpetuate in the workplace.
No matter how well-natured and lighthearted it may be, there might be a subconscious undermining of the capabilities of each generation. Therefore, you have to practice being more conscious of the stereotypes that you might be using.
Leading by example is an excellent way of reminding your workforce not to give any of their attention to these stereotypes.
Promote shared values
One of the challenging parts of managing a multigenerational workforce is finding a way to bridge their differences.
Time is a significant difference to overcome, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. You can start bridging that gap by promoting something that everyone can come together with, which can be shared values in the company.
After choosing which shared values you want in the company, you should learn to practice in different ways. It would also help if you communicate these values and ingrain them in your team members.
For example, if your shared values are around being a “family,” then make sure you have the support system and open communication that a family would. Having that shared sense of value system makes it easier for you to work with a multigenerational workforce. That’s because everyone is aiming for or is operating with these values in mind.
Be actively engaged
As the manager of a multigenerational workforce, you want to make sure that you engage with every member and every generational group.
Being an active listener who also participates with each member will make you a more informed leader. You can have a better idea of what steps and programs work best for your workforce.
At the same time, you’ll have a better idea of the work styles that work best for each group and individual. Therefore, you’ll be making more informed decisions around work tasks and the like.
When you’re more engaged, people are more likely to listen to you in all aspects, no matter what generation you may come from.
Understand communication styles
Each person communicates differently, and it’s evident in the methods that are popular among each generation.
Of course, it’s best not to assume what they prefer based on the generation they’re from. However, you also have to be more flexible with your communication style.
Those younger than you might slip up and talk in slang or casual speech, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they disrespect you. Meanwhile, the older generations may appreciate a more respectful and formal tone in the workplace.
Adapting to different communication styles will help you foster an open dialogue among the employees.
You should encourage your employees to work with one another and not stick to their generations if they can help. These unseen generational boundaries will make it harder to collaborate as a team. So getting people more comfortable can help everyone work smoothly with one another.
It allows people to see different perspectives more. Each can gain something from one another’s experiences, and it will teach them to respect each other as professionals in your industry.
With more exciting perspectives in the mix, your workforce will generate more exciting work results. At the same time, you have a culture of openness and collaboration that creates a positive work environment for everyone.
Support professional development
People will have varying degrees of desire for professional development. It is your job to ensure that everyone has a chance to grow more in their career, no matter who they are.
When people feel that their workplace supports their professional development, they become diligent and efficient employees. At the same time, they can be more loyal to the company.
That said, make sure that there are both vertical and lateral opportunities for growth. These opportunities can impact the company’s employee retention. So, be aware and support an employee who shows interest in furthering their career.
Having a multigenerational workforce gives you access to a more diverse set of perspectives and knowledge set. And such diversity can be an asset for your business.
Hopefully, the tips listed above could help you get closer to achieving that type of workplace environment. Good luck!