We’re reaching the end of the decade. Next year will begin the third decade of the millennia, and to say a lot has changed since day one of the year 2000 is an understatement. In the working world, specifically, an innumerable amount of changes have happened over the past twenty years. Advancements in technology have inspired entrepreneurs and large corporations alike, and expansion of global connectivity has as well aided in the expansion of the business. Also, most workplaces operating nowadays are staffed with diverse individuals, and most workplaces do not discriminate based on age.
If you’re a business owner or someone in a managerial position, the following tips, if utilized properly, should help you manage generation gaps in today’s workplace.
Set a Standard Method of Communication
There are many behaviors and beliefs that don’t transcend generations, but nothing separates generations quite like communication style. In an age that’s dominated by smart technology and personalized gadgets, most workers, regardless of industry, carry a phone. While most individuals carry a phone, how they use their phones is a different story.
For example, millennials love texting. Boomers, on the other hand, prefer speaking over the phone. In the workplace, these preferences can create conflicts, issues, and confusion, especially when multiple communication channels are being used at once. If you want to ensure effective communication with all employees, regardless of age, then setting a standard method of communication is necessary. Most companies, for example, use email as their standard method of communication.
Promote Deserving Young Employees
While all promotions should be based on achievement and merit, it’s a good idea to put both young and senior employees in supervisory positions. Doing this not only ensures diversity of opinion but as well prevents against ageism, which some employees may perceive in the workplace if there are only senior employees in managerial positions. Younger managers can also connect with younger employees in ways that senior managers cannot, so putting younger managers in positions where they can positively impact their subordinates will likely increase productivity and boost quality of work.
Consider Where Employees Are in Life
Although every worker a company employs must follow certain rules and regulations, not every employee is in the same place, as far as life is concerned, as their coworkers. This aspect of the workplace is important, especially when considering generation gaps because it can have a large impact on how the company performs. For example, if the company is staffed largely by older individuals who are more focused on retirement than meeting company goals, the company’s bottom line could suffer. On the other end of the spectrum, a company that hires too many young employees may end up being without the necessary experience to grow and expand.
Host Community-Building Exercises Regularly
If you want employees to get over their age-related differences, hosting community-building exercises and events is an effective way of achieving this. When employees get together to accomplish tasks and initiatives, they can bond and make memories with one another. And when there are incentives (prizes) involved, employees really work together, and such hard work will translate to the day-in and day-out operations.