Leading today’s workforce is becoming an increasingly complex challenge. Since Generation Z has started to enter the workforce, today’s modern office space has four generations working together – Baby Boomer’s, Generation X, Generation Y, and now Generation Z. This diverse group of employees is a great opportunity for employers. The wide range of skills, ideas, and problem solving abilities that these generations bring to the table is an asset for any company and should be celebrated. However, to truly experience the benefits of having multigenerational workforce, one must first now how to effectively lead them.
Leading a Multigenerational Workforce
1. Know Each Generation: To be a leader of a multigenerational workforce, it is important to know what each generation needs. For example, Baby Boomer’s do not expect much feedback outside of annual reviews where as Generation Z needs consistent and frequent feedback. Each generation also has different learning styles, communication styles, and training styles. Understanding these differences allows you to intact and communicate with each generation in a way that brings out the best in everyone. Shown below is a chart from Robert Half on the generational differences.
2. Encourage Collaboration: Seven out of 10 adults enjoy working with people from other generations, according to an AARP survey, but it can be intimidating. As a leader, it is your job to create a positive and inclusive culture that encourages collaboration. Create multigenerational teams based on each team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and create an open office section in the workplace where teams can collaborate. This not only helps improves engagement, but also job satisfaction and sense of belonging.
3. Build Trust: The best way to build trust among employees of all ages is to celebrate differences. Allow everyone to voice their opinions and offer suggestions. Acknowledge what each employee brings to the table and communicate frequently about how the diverse workforce has positively impacted creativity, engagement and business results. This not only builds trust, but it allows each employee across every generation to feel important, valued and respected.
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