Over the last decade, millennials have steadily been entering the workforce, and Gen Z is not too far behind now. This means that older baby boomers and these younger generations are usually working in the same place. This generation gap is a significant matter in the workplace, as there may be major differences in thought processes and workplace behaviour.
However, as a manager, you know that you need a dynamic and diverse team to make your company relatable for everyone, leading it to succeed. Your hiring efforts should incorporate generational diversity, with no ageist or sexist policies involved. Hire the best person for the job, who you feel will also add value to the workplace. While a generation gap may seem like a minefield, you can easily bridge it and leverage it to the company’s benefit. Here are a few tips to help you close this gap more efficiently.
Focus On Open Communication
The first thing you should do is encourage open communication. Make sure multiple avenues of communication are available so that people can use what they’re comfortable with. In addition, you should have regular meetings or town halls, so that everyone can share their ideas and give feedback.
This will open up the opportunity for more innovative ideas and debate, leading to a creative office environment. Whether you go for physical or virtual communication methods, make sure you know what your employees are comfortable with.
Do Not Stereotype Employees
This is a major concern in multi-generational workplaces. We’ve all seen those articles which blame millennials for killing one industry or the other, simply because they have different priorities and economic power than previous generations. On the other hand, those viral ‘okay boomer’ jokes are no better. So, you need to avoid discriminatory stereotypes when you’re considering employees.
Your employees’ performance appraisal should in no way be impacted by their generation-specific beliefs and behavior. So, keep all biases aside, and focus on how your employees are contributing to the workplace.
Allocate Work According To Capabilities
While older generations may not be as tech-savvy as younger employees, they bring their own set of skills to the workplace. Therefore, you should accommodate their limitations and allocate work according to capabilities. In addition, give them the right tools they can work with.
Similarly, younger generations are more dynamic with their work. You need to respect everyone’s abilities and use them to your advantage. This will help you get the best performance out of all your employees, as they’ll be using the methods and tools with which they work best.
Work On Diverse Talent Acquisition
In this day and age, diversity is a major asset for any workplace. If you have a variety of employees from different generational, economic, and ethnic backgrounds, you can make your products suitable for larger audiences.
So, make sure you focus on diversity in your hiring and don’t just employ people who look and think the same way. This requires using a variety of recruitment methods, which you won’t really get with your typical staffing agency austin. Social media is a great way to get the word out about open positions and get a diverse set of applications.
Create Mentorship Programmes
This is a great way to bridge the generation gap and also enrich the workplace. Pair up older, experienced employees with younger rookies, so that they can both learn from each other. This will also help prepare a new set of leaders for your company once the older ones retire. Mentors can help younger employees understand the ropes because their experience makes them fluent in the business foundations.
On the other hand, the younger employees can help the mentors get a new perspective on things, with the help of refreshing new ideas and methodologies. This is an excellent skill development initiative for both sides and is beneficial for the company as a whole too. If you offer the right set of compensation and benefits, you can retain these younger employees for a long time, and prepare them to climb up the ladder.
Leading on from the last point, collaboration is the right way to develop and improve the products and services your company sells. As a manager, you should make sure none of your employees is working in a silo. This will lead to incoherence between different stages of a task, especially if you have different generations working on one thing.
Instead, have everyone collaborate and communicate on a constant basis, especially when a project is going on. Schedule meetings and calls, and encourage the use of collaborative tools.
Have Recreational Events
To bridge the generation gap professionally, you need to bring your employees to a collaborative state of mind personally. Therefore, you should hold regular casual events such as themed days, team games, and informal hangouts.
This will help your employees interact in a more comfortable manner, which will affect their workplace collaboration positively.
In the end, if you bridge the generation gap at your workplace, you stand to gain immensely from an enriched environment. This will help your company be more innovative, relatable, and successful.