5 Tips for Managing Multi-Generational TeamsBy: Danielle Francis
For the first time in recent history, there are at least five generations in the modern workforce. They include:
- Traditionalists – Born before 1946
- Baby Boomers – Born approximately 1946 – 1964
- Generation X – Born approximately 1965 – 1980
- Millennials – Born approximately 1981 – 1995
- Generation Z – Born approximately 1995 – present
With so many generations working together, employees of all ages have amazing opportunities for collaboration and learning. But because every generation has different values or perspectives, there are also plenty of challenges, especially for leaders managing multi-generational teams.
Now more than ever before, the employee experience is top of mind for leaders at all levels. And while technology has—and will continue to have—a dominant role in this regard, it’s also critical that managers be able to effectively lead multi-generational teams. After all, every employee, regardless of where they are in their career, wants to feel that their efforts and their input are valued.
Below are five practical ways that managers of multi-generational teams can lead effectively in today’s more diverse workplace.
1. Make More Time for Your People
To understand what differentiates one generation from another, you have to spend time with your people—and meetings may not be the best way to do this. Devoting more time to one-on-ones and team building activities will yield a return by giving you opportunities to learn more about the individuals who make up your team.
2. Try Different Approaches to Mentoring
Traditionally, mentoring involves pairing younger, less experienced workers with older, more experienced workers. But in today’s hyperconnected world, mentoring doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Are there things, especially around technology, that younger workers might be able to teach to more seasoned colleagues?
3. Stay Engaged With Your Employees
Remember: Employee engagement is crucial for creating the kind of employee experience that will help you retain and attract talented employees. For best results, develop a regular cadence for surveying your employees to discover what they value and what hopes or expectations they have about their careers.
4. Change Your Approach
Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all thing. Different leadership styles will yield different results with different people. If you manage a multi-generational team, you may have to learn how to change your leadership style in order to effectively engage with team members of different generations.
5. Be Flexible
Just as your employees don’t all share the same generational values, they don’t all have the same needs. Whether or not your employees are married or have dependents, life is unpredictable. Staying sensitive to the needs of all your employees will demonstrate to them that they’re valued and will help you improve the overall employee experience.
Lead Your Organization Into a Successful Future
Cultivating a good employee experience is one of the most important things a company can do, especially as technology makes inefficient processes much more efficient.
But technology is not the only way to do this, especially not with so many different generations in the workplace.
Among many other things, leaders must understand what sets each generation apart so they can respond effectively and create the kind of environment that all employees crave—one where they, and their efforts, are valued.