Multigenerational Perspectives in the Workplace Requires a Multi-faceted Strategy

In today’s workplaces, we often find employees from different generations working together. This diversity in age can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to a company, but it can also create misunderstandings and communication barriers. Addressing multigenerational perspectives in the workplace is crucial for creating a cohesive and productive team. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some strategies that managers can use to bridge the generational gap and improve workplace communication and collaboration.

1. Recognize, value and bridge the differences:

The first step towards addressing multigenerational perspectives in the workplace is to recognize and value the differences between employees of different age groups. Each generation has its unique experiences, values, and perspectives that can contribute to the organization’s success. Managers should encourage open dialogue and foster a culture of inclusion where employees are respected and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.

2. Promote intergenerational mentorship:

Mentorship programs that pair entry-level employees with more experienced ones can be beneficial for both parties. Younger employees can learn from the experience and knowledge of their older colleagues, while more experienced employees can benefit from fresh perspectives and new ideas. These programs can also help build stronger relationships between employees of different generations.

3. Seek to understand different communication styles:

Different generations have different communication styles, and it’s essential to understand and respect them. For example, younger employees may prefer to communicate via text or instant messaging because of their lifelong exposure to asynchronous work environments, cell phones, internet and laptops, while older employees may prefer face-to-face conversations because they’re more accustomed to in-person engagement throughout their career. Managers should make sure to use a variety of communication methods to ensure that all employees can communicate effectively.

4. Create a flexible work environment:

Flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, asynchronous collaboration or flexible hours, can benefit employees of all generations. Younger employees may appreciate the freedom to work from home or have more control over their schedules, while millennials and Gen Xers may appreciate a more flexible work schedule that allows them to balance work and personal obligations. Caregiving extends beyond children with increasing responsibilities around caring for parents and extended family.

5. Provide training opportunities:

Providing training opportunities for all employees can help bridge the divide. Upskilling, reskilling and guidance need to become more of a core part of an organization’s growth strategy. Gen Z employees may benefit from training on more traditional workplace skills, such as professional etiquette and business writing, while Gen X and Baby Boomers may benefit from training on newer technologies and digital communication tools. It is important to offer equitable training opportunities, regardless of age. Kanarys found that as employee age increases, their perception of receiving opportunities to improve skills within their organization goes down. Specifically, of the employees under the age of 26 surveyed by Kanarys, 77% believe they have a real opportunity to improve their skills within their organization, compared to 63% of employees above the age of 54.  

Addressing multigenerational perspectives in the workplace requires understanding, flexibility, and open communication. By recognizing and valuing the differences between employees of different age groups, promoting intergenerational mentorship, understanding different communication styles, creating a flexible work environment, and providing training opportunities, managers can create a more cohesive and productive team.

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