Celebrating the Multi-Generational Workforce

More boomers are working past retirement age.

Tech-savvy millennials will make up 50% of our workforce by 2020.

Gen Z’s are graduating and entering the workforce.

With a mix of generations comes distinct differences in values and work styles. These differences can fuel miscommunications or cause angst, but with the right mindset, different generations can appreciate and learn from one another.

In most workplaces today, you see a variety of generations represented – and with that comes a mix of perceptions, styles, expectations, and stereotypes. Coworkers from different generations can learn from one another if they are encouraged to maintain a positive attitude and are open to one another’s ideas and experiences. Different perspectives can spark new ideas and even prompt new ways of thinking. A multi-generational workforce pushes everyone to learn how to acknowledge, work with, and leverage differences to create a great place to work.

How can you create an environment that allows multiple generations to work cohesively together?

Start by examining your thoughts and feelings about different generations and have an open mind. Do you see your multi-generational workforce as an opportunity or hindrance? You can set a positive cultural tone by encouraging different generations to learn and grow from one another rather than play into the stereotype hype.

Establish and create a culture that will thrive in the future by developing strategies that set you apart. Consider what motivates and engages, attracts and retains key employees, and what will ensure smooth communication and cooperation between generations:

  • Stereotypes: It is easy to attach stereotypes to different generations, but accepting people based on their merits is a better place to start. How are you encouraging all generations in your workplace to shed their stereotypes?
  • Respect: Everyone craves respect. To respect each other’s generational differences is to understand and accept that they are differentfrom yours. What motivates people from different generations? What experiences have they had? How are their working styles different?
  • Flexibility: When you understand what makes each generation unique, your ability to meet their unique needs, expectations, preferences, and desires can help prevent conflict and create harmony.
  • Learn: Begin with a clear picture of your current cultural makeup. Different generations bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. Know the generational composition of your employees, including yourself. What can they learn from each other and how can you create an environment that celebrates mentoring one another? What challenges are arising and how will you identify opportunities to reduce those challenges?
  • Engage: Become aware of the similarities and differences that exist for each generation and then focus on engaging activities that support the similarities rather than trying to close the gaps between generations.

How can we help?

Every organization changes over time – to adjust to the marketplace, to capitalize on new ideas and technologies, or to make improvements. But people don’t like change. There’s no way to eliminate discomfort during times of change – but the right change management strategy can help people navigate thoughtfully through it. A thoughtful change management communication strategy ensures that organizational change is effectively implemented.

When a culture shift is needed in a non-organic way, pulling off that change successfully can be tough. We partner with you to build a comprehensive communication strategy that will help shape the culture beneath it.