A key issue for organizations today is how to create a team of people from different generations that can grow and learn from one another, and together create a great work product.
So, how do employers make that happen?
There are strategies that organizations can put into place to create harmonious work environments, including:
- Foster respect – all people deserve respect, no matter what generation they are. Establishing guidelines that encourage a work environment of mutual respect, acknowledging the differences each person brings to the table, and being open to learn from other styles of work are all beneficial.
- Encourage Flexibility – work-life balance needs are different across generations. Whether it is the generation close to retirement that may only want to work part-time, or the Millennials, who want the ability to adjust their work life around their personal life, the ability to adjust work hours and locations can be a great incentive for an organization to attract and retain great talent.
- Embrace different communication styles – there are so many ways to communicate in the workplace. Face-to-Face, telephone, and written letters all used to be the standard styles, so many of the more senior generation will state those are their preferred methods. The newer workers may prefer email, text, and social media. No matter the route of delivery used, the goal is that the message is received well, so being open to altering your communication method to better suit the recipient should be considered.
- Establish Mentoring Programs – as long-time employees retire, they take with them a vast amount of organizational knowledge and memory. Creating a program of mentoring newer employees can ensure a successful transfer of information and skills. These programs can be done one-on-one, in groups, and via job sharing and other training programs. Not only does the retiring employee feel valued for their experience, but the newer employee benefits in learning different methods that have been done in the past.
Leaders today must manage a multi-generational workforce. Having the ability to foster communication and understanding of the skills and knowledge each generation brings to the table can be a challenge. Embracing diversity and creating a work environment that shows value for all people and their skills, regardless of age, can help organizations succeed.
At Align, we have been successful at helping to create cultures of workplace diversity and acceptance, as well as build strong and effective teams. Let us know how we can help your organization achieve excellence.