Every company is filled with employees who have very different personalities and needs. However, this is never more readily apparent than when faced with a generational gap. Many organizations currently have members of three generations on staff — baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964), Generation X (born 1965 to 1976) and millennials (1977 to the early 2000s).
As technology continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep everyone on the same page. Millennials embrace each new change with open arms, while baby boomers and Gen Xers are much more hesitant.
3 Ways to Bridge the Generational Gap
Are you looking for a way to get your employees from each generation on the same page? Use the following three tips to make their differences work for you:
- Recognize Generational Characteristics: It’s important for management to recognize the defining characteristics of each generation, to better understand employees from each group. For example, baby boomers and Gen Xers are generally less concerned with career advancement and more focused on having a boss who cares about them. Conversely, millennials need regular growth and development opportunities to remain engaged and don’t enjoy doing work that doesn’t challenge them.
- Start a Mentoring Program: Help bridge the generational gap by pairing members of each group together and allowing them to learn from one another. Millennials can gain valuable career advice from baby boomers and Gen Xers, plus they’re able to help their seasoned colleagues gain a better understanding of new software and technology used by your company. Learning what each group has to offer can create a culture of mutual respect.
- Accommodate Different Working Styles: Employees from different generations don’t thrive under the same working conditions. Allow as much flexibility as possible to make everyone happy. For example, millennials may choose to communicate with you by email, while baby boomers prefer the telephone. Furthermore, millennials are often opposed to rigid structure, so allow them to work remotely. Sometimes instituting relatively small changes can make a huge difference.
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