Active Voice: Bridging the Generation Gap in the Office

Our current workforce comprises at least three generations of people; how do we best accommodate them? Linked to our virtual seminar event at the end of March, we offer tips on how to bridge the generational divide in the workplace.

Here is a breakdown of the different generations in the workplace and the years of birth that define them:

  • Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)
  • Generation X (1965 – 1979)
  • Generation Y or Millennials (1980 – 1995)
  • Generation Z (1996 – present)
  1. Management is key to reconciling different generations in the workplace. The first rule of successful management is to empower employees to do things their own way and promote a culture of learning. Instead of prescribing, managers should encourage employees to use their creativity and rethink the way they execute tasks to keep improving processes.
  2. Avoid pigeon-holing people and making assumptions like “Boomers are dinosaurs who are stuck in their ways” or “Millennials are lazy and entitled”. Managers and colleagues alike must strive to move beyond labels. We need to get to know our team members as individuals worthy of our respect, without any preconceived notions. Managers must work hard to create an environment in which this can happen.
  3. Understand and deploy motivators for each generation. It’s a great idea to ask each team member directly how they want to be recognised and rewarded, either by an online survey or a paper form.
  4. Individual differences are strengths. Members of each generation have something of unique value to offer. Encourage employees of each generation to not only leverage these skills for the company’s benefit, but to help their team members develop these skills.
  5. Implement cross-generational training to encourage team members to confront the strengths and weaknesses of their own individual approach versus others.
  6. Create mentoring opportunities – experienced workers can pass on useful skills to their younger colleagues; this empowers older workers while also promoting collaboration.

We are running an expert interview on bridging the generational divides in your work place. Please join us.

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