We live in a time where there are different generations in the workplace who work together. According to Forbes, this could mean managing employees with ages that range from 18 to 80 years old. Multi-generational management means being able to handle the four generations for an efficient and successful company. But to do this successfully, you need to know and understand what each groups’ characteristics are to build a harmonious working relationship.
The Multi-Generational Workforce
This generation is also known as The Silent Generation or Traditionalists. They are the ones born in the years 1925 until 1945. These people are good team players and loyal hard workers and are motivated by tangible rewards for service. By being traditional, they are used to the classroom type of learning and communicate well through formal letters. Although they try to keep up with technology, they can be challenged and won’t work well with it at times.
Next to the Traditionalists are the Baby Boomers that value job perks and promotions. They are born in the years 1946 to 1964. They have a work attitude that can be challenging to colleagues and may seem competitive with strong work ethics. They give importance and priority to their job for stability and security. Approaching them through group discussion and interactive learning work well, and they effectively work in teams and collaborations. They interact face-to-face and through the telephone.
This generation is the children of Baby Boomers and they grew at a time when technology was rapidly advancing. In working, they look forward to corporate training which can benefit their career growth. This generation are made of independent people who value work-life balance. Other than that, they are potentially good leaders who are updated with technology, yet aware of traditional work protocols.
The latest and the youngest group is Generation Y that hopes for credit with what they do as they make a difference in their work setting. What do millennials want? In their workplace, they want freedom and flexibility while they give pride in what they do. This generation grew up with technology at the tip of their fingers so they learn well through web-based applications. Managing millennials in the workplace can be helped by online communication through texts and instant messages.
Effective Management of Multi-Generations
A good manager should learn to acknowledge each generation’s characteristics to create ways for employees to become more productive and engaged in their work. According to Business.com, there are two effective tips for a harmonious management of a multi-generational team. These are finding intergenerational intersections and developing a supportive coaching model.
What are intergenerational intersections? Different generations grew up in different times, but there are certain world events that shape their personalities in the same way. The manager’s role is to leverage on those experiences to develop shared sentiments on different aspects of life. Multi-generations tend to give different perspectives and this is where the manager should find commonalities to bring the team together. Despite the differences, harnessing the strengths from each generation can bring harmony and innovation in the modern workplace.
Seek help from a coaching expert in carrying out this program. In this strategy, the coaching model encourages conversational exchanges between the different generations. This is more effective when the coach is from the older generation and the pupil is from the younger generation. Now that Generation X and Millennials are the next leaders, coaching from their managers will greatly benefit them. They’ll be able to build stronger work relationships, share wisdom with each other, and pass on their knowledge alternately.
Creating a Modern Workplace
With the amount of diversity the four different generations have to offer, the current work environment can be very exciting and full of actionable ideas. Managing these generations in the workplace is a great challenge for managers, but putting all those perspectives together can put businesses forward. It is important to create a workplace that will accept the different views of these generations and unite them to achieve the business goals.