Many say that people are the most critical asset in business. It has never been more difficult than now to manage, interact and connect with other people. The world of work, in particular, is more diverse than it has ever been before with many individuals belonging to various demographics and age groups.
Age is one of the most common differences in the business workforce. A generation gap in the workplace means differences in attitude, expectations, work styles, interactions, and ways of connecting. In some instances, this generation gap can lead to synergy in business, but in other cases, conflicts and misunderstanding can occur. Here are tips to manage these differences and ensure your business experiences the benefits of your workforce generation gap.
Appreciation and Collaboration
Everyone, regardless of age, wants to be heard, taken seriously and assured that their input is valuable. For this, management can make sure that each employee contributes ideas and knows that someone with influence is listening to them. Also, providing a system that encourages innovation can help boost satisfaction in the workplace.
Set Up Mentoring Programs
One of the methods that management can use to establish genuine connections with young individuals in their teams is reverse mentoring. Take an older worker with excellent communication skills but is not as adept at technology, and pair them up with someone who is opposite of that. This system helps engage young workers and gives them a platform where they can exhibit their expertise. As a result, it connects old and young professionals in a business.
Resolve Workplace Conflicts
Conflicts in the workplace are an unfortunate, but realistic occurrence. Workplace conflicts are often the result of lack of communication, misuse of information, and a generation gap. Individual perceptions of any given situation can differ, and each worker may have different ways of arriving at the same solution; they all think their approach is the best. When these cases occur, make an effort to manage them with an open mind. It is important to remember that it is not the conflict itself that is damaging, but the one that remains unresolved.
To work with multiple age groups at a workplace is an ongoing theme in the modern workplace. Smartphones and other technology are also drivers of change. Most young workers are tech-savvy, but also look to the experience that older workers possess. By bringing different generations together and implementing the most appropriate methods of integrating them, you can create a more innovative and comfortable workplace. This type of work environment can only benefit the development and learning style of each worker, regardless of their age.