Intergenerational Workforce: Bridging the Generation Gap

The Payroll Company Recruitment, Company Culture, Millennials, Employee Retention, Gen Z

intergenerational-workforce-bridging-the-generation-gapIn the modern workplace, managing an intergenerational workforce is vital. To create a successful environment, companies must embrace diversity and promote collaboration among Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. Bridging the generational gap is essential for maximizing the strengths of each group.

Read on to look deeper into understanding generational differences and how to foster teamwork successfully, even among different age groups.TPC Homecoming offer for past clients

Understanding Generational Differences

Before bridging the generation gap, it is essential to acknowledge the diverse perspectives, values, and work styles that different generations bring to the table. Consider the following breakdown of what characteristics make up the generations seen in the business market today:

Baby Boomers: This generation is often characterized as hardworking, loyal, and experienced. Baby Boomers possess a wealth of industry knowledge thanks to their years in the workforce. Consequently, they are usually excellent mentors for younger or less experienced team members.

Generation X: This group Generation X,  is known for their adaptability, independence, and strong worth ethic. They are often a stabilizing influence in a time of change.  

Millennials: This generation is often a tech-savvy, collaborative, and purpose-driven group. Millennials often bring fresh ideas, creativity, and a passion for innovation to the workplace. 

Generation Z: This newest generation to take their place in the workplace, Generation Z,  is highly tech-oriented, entrepreneurial, and keen on continuous learning. 

Fostering Collaboration Among Generations

Your team of employees will often be made up of representatives from all the generations outlined above. Thankfully, by being purposeful in the way your team is set up, you can foster collaboration, not competition or rivalry, among the various generations. You can do this in a few ways, including the actionable tips listed below:

Promote Open Communication

This means encouraging transparent feedback and regular team meetings. In other words, create a sense of community where everyone is free to speak up and let their voice be heard. Of course, this must begin with an overall sense of respect among team members. 

Implement Reverse Mentoring

Another way to promote intergenerational collaboration is to pair up experienced employees with those who are more tech-savvy. By combining these groups, you will bring out the strengths of each generation. Don’t pair only employees with certain skills with those with the same skills. Instead, allow them to mentor each other among the generations and gain knowledge from each other. 

Create Multigenerational Teams

Speaking of working together, fostering cross-generational collaboration and understanding allow employees to walk in each other's shoes. Give them an opportunity to create teams that pair various strengths and weaknesses. For example, perhaps one team would include an employee who has industry experience but is not tech-savvy, with another employee who doesn’t have nearly as much industry experience but knows how to do anything technologically related. 

Offer Continuous Learning

Provide diverse training opportunities for all age groups. While some generations are more open to learning new skills, it’s important to make continuous learning available to all employees. Overall, this will make your workforce more knowledgeable and skilled. Make sure you offer continuous learning that is applicable to all employees. In other words, perhaps the younger generations would benefit from industry knowledge via classes or other methods, while older generations might appreciate learning more about modern technology or software. 

Embrace Flexibility

Provide work arrangements that suit different preferences. Don’t be so committed to “how you have always done it” to neglect trying something new that could provide a measure of excitement and inclusion for your employees. This could mean offering flex hours or remote working opportunities, or other methods. Just embrace doing things differently unless there is a really good reason why it can’t be changed.Guide-to-Proactively-Managing-Your-HR

The Benefits of an Inclusive Intergenerational Workforce

Now that we have considered some ways to improve the collaborative efforts among various generations of employees, it’s helpful to understand the overall benefits to your business. Consider the following reasons why you should be making intergenerational inclusion a priority in your business:

Enhanced Creativity and Innovation

In general, diverse perspectives lead to more innovative solutions. The adage “You don't know what you don't know” is a good example of this in a practical sense. Employees who have never explored doing things another way will simply never expand their outlook. Therefore, ensuring this type of innovation is helpful for creativity for all employees. 

Increased Employee Engagement

Inclusive environments boost satisfaction and retention. It makes sense as employees who feel seen, heard, and valued will naturally be happier in their workplace and will be more apt to feel satisfied in their role. A Pew Research Center poll found that employees who feel disrespected will leave their jobs, even if their pay is adequate. This highlights the importance of creating an inclusive environment. 

Improved Knowledge Transfer

Collaboration safeguards institutional knowledge. It creates a team that is more knowledgeable and capable than any employee would be on their own. It’s a team effort that creates an even greater level of skill and knowledge. As the saying goes, “iron sharpens iron,” meaning you want employees to challenge each other (in a healthy way) as this will only enhance your overall skill level, not hinder it. 

Higher Productivity

Teams draw on a wide range of skills for efficient outcomes. The more people you have working on a project and collaborating to complete the job, the more proficient the process should be. Of course, you do have to ensure that the team is working together in a healthy manner, not in a way to one-up each other. Instead, in a way to grow and learn from each other, much like a root supplies rich resources to a tree and its many branches. The team together is more productive than any one person could ever hope to be on their own. 

Bridge The Gap Between Generations for an Inclusive Workplace

An inclusive intergenerational workforce reaps the rewards of collaboration and diversity. Understanding generational differences and fostering teamwork is essential for the success of any organization in today’s evolving workplace. Contact us at The Payroll Company to learn more.subscribe to our blog

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