In today’s workplace, embracing variety and understanding that not all solutions fit everyone is a must. Increasingly, managers and leaders need to expand their ways of communicating to and about their team to ensure inclusion and equity. We consider diversity as it applies to race, gender, religion, background, and many other rich layers that make each team member unique. However, we often forget to consider age and generational identity.
Generational identity often influences each person’s values, beliefs, and attitudes, in turn impacting their approach to work. And with members of five different generations actively working today, it’s quite a gap to bridge! Friction can arise when team members engage in stereotypes based on generation. But as a leader, if you set a tone of appreciating differences, it will create a culture of inclusion.
Consider tailoring the environment to each generation’s needs, strengths, and motivations. For example, older generations can contribute their experience and knowledge by mentoring junior or younger team members. Putting them in a position to mentor others will make them feel valued and engaged. Younger generations often have fresh approaches, so make sure to encourage their contributions.
Additionally, your benefits package can be adjusted to deliver upon their needs. Younger generations may appreciate more flexibility with less focus on pay, while older generations expect structure with their work schedule but need a strong retirement benefit.
Technology also features prominently when assessing generational gaps. Millennials have a “baked in” technological know-how because they grew up with it, while other generations came of age in eras when it wasn’t so common, certainly not to the extent it is today. This often translates into forms of communication. Older generations engage more successfully with face-to-face interaction, whereas younger generations may prefer a text or chat message.
Ultimately, understanding how generational differences can affect your company culture is key. It can be an opportunity to more effectively tap into the motivations of team members and support a positive culture.
PuzzleHR’s focus on community, communication, and collaboration can expertly help you navigate these dynamics. Ask your PuzzleHR specialist for more information today.