Manage Employees from Different Generations

4 Mins

It’s important to remember that at an individual level, everyone is different. But looking at people through a generational lens isn't meant to box any one person into a certain set of values or habits. It offers a useful insight on what might influence them. Through learning how to accommodate each generation, you will be able to increase engagement, foster teamwork, and create an inclusive workplace.

Here are some tips for managing across generational lines:

Establish a mentorship program.

Coordinate different aged employees to mentor each other. By encouraging more cross-generational interaction, younger employees gain the experience and wisdom offered by senior employees, and older employees learn to be open to the fresh perspectives offered by younger employees.

Offer different working options.

Each employee is at a different stage in their life and dealing with different obstacles that might not suit a conventional work schedule. Consider allowing options like working from home. This will allow your team some flexibility on how they want to work and put everybody on the same scale to measure success.

Support different working and learning styles.

Everyone learns and processes information differently. As a leader, work to provide an environment that will allow each employee to succeed. Better yet, ask each employee how they learn best, what they want out of their professional lives, and how you can motivate them.

For instance, Baby Boomers often favor static learning like handbooks and meetings by phone or in person. Millennials may gravitate towards learning that is more technology based and open collaborations.

Accommodate individual employee needs.

Some people on your team are planning for retirement, pursuing another degree, or planning to become a parent. Get on the same page with each employee and discuss any scheduling needs as they manage their personal time with their work

Also: Be careful not to follow blanket stereotypes of what “defines” a certain generation. Don’t confuse issues of character like immaturity, laziness, or entitlement with generational traits.

Management is key to instilling harmony in a multi-generational workforce and ensuring everyone feels valued. Each generation brings something different to the table and using their uniqueness to the advantage of the business is vital to drive success.

Quiz 1 of 1

One of your employees in their thirties, Ruben, wants to start taking morning classes on Thursdays at a community college but worries that he won't get his work done on time. What do you tell him?

a
You discuss a schedule that will work best for him to succeed in his class and get his work done on time.
b
You tell him to choose a class on the weekends instead so that it does not conflict with his work during the day.
c
You put him in a mentor program so that he does not need to take classes elsewhere.
d
You tell him that he can take the morning class but he still has to be at work on time.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP:

Encourage more cross-generational interaction. Create a small project that pairs older employees with younger ones.

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