Managing Multiple Generations

Each generation brings a unique set of skills into the office. Fostering an environment of open communication with understanding and respect for those differences will go a long way toward strengthening a company’s ability to remain competitive in the marketplace. With older generations staying in the workplace and younger generations joing them there, the multigenerational workplace is rapidly becoming the norm, not the exception. So don’t just watch this scenario play out on its own – take action now! A workforce strategy that addresses the presence of different age groups of employees head-on can demonstrate how age diversity (with the difference and similarities it brings) can create stronger companies.

So where do you start?

Update your company policies: make sure all of your procedures and policies meet the needs of everyone in your workforce. For example, do all employees need to work in the office or is telecommuting an option?

Rewarding Employee Behavior: Know what incentives work for each age group. Millenials may be more motivated by promotion possibility than a more flexible work environment.

Training: Training is a two-way street, younger managers must learn how to motivate and engage older workers while more seasoned employees should learn how to approach a supervisor who is younger than them.

Accommodation of Different Learning Styles: Each generations experience with technology can shape its different learning styles. So be sure to build training that that accommodates multiple learning methods, including in-person, online and self-paced programs.

Reverse Mentoring: Having a younger employee help an older more experienced employee with new technology and trends can also be beneficial.

Multiple Communication Methods: Use multiple communication methods to engage all employees regardless of age, for example, IM, email, texts, written memos, etc.

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