While some may argue for letting each generation “do their own thing” the way they want to, undisturbed by the ways and thought processes of their older or younger co-workers, this path of least resistance will also be the path of least accomplishment.
A culture that both embraces generational difference and mingles the generations themselves will yield much greater success. Why box in your potential when celebrating and embracing what each generation brings to the equation will provide a much greater yield.
These strategies will help you get the most from the age diversity within your workforce.
* Maintain a Supportive Attitude Across the Board
No playing favorites. No spurring guilt trips over more achievements/accomplishments in any age demographic. Value everyone the same. Appreciate each employee for who they are and the important role they play within the company.
An atmosphere of unity and engagement can’t help but grow when support and encouragement are palpable from the top down.
* Create Opportunities for Cross-Generational Mentoring
Pairing younger workers with seasoned executives is gaining momentum in many work settings. “The younger person — who grew up with the internet — teaches the older person about the power of social media to drive business results,” says Jeanne C. Meister. In return, more experienced employees share institutional knowledge with the younger set.
These mixed-age pairings promote cross-generational mentoring with the added benefit of getting to know one another. “Studies show that colleagues learn more from each other than they do from formal training, which is why it is so important to establish a culture of coaching across age groups,” says Meister. The age difference eliminates the competition factor as well.
* Make Project Teams Multi-Generational
When forming teams, think in terms of complementary skill sets, diverse viewpoints, and basic strengths and weaknesses to customize a powerhouse team. In fact, make it standard procedure that each team is a diverse mix of the age groups within your workforce. The simple fact that this blending is the “norm” will further enhance an atmosphere of embracing generational differences.
* Knock Down Partitions
Encourage camaraderie and getting to know one another by making the workplace less segmented. A more open layout is one of the best ways to bring the generations together. Of course, you’ll want to designate areas that allow for a greater level of privacy or accommodate short periods of burying oneself to prepare for a deadline. Open, well-lit areas that are nicely furnished and decorated will rally the team toward a cohesive mission and bolster the overall spirit of unity.
specializes in the unique needs of precision manufacturing companies. We deliver customized, industry-specific, and culture-based human resource solutions every day – saving our clients in both cost and time investments. Our management team is waiting to assist you. Contact us today.