In a world where birth rates are on the decline, longer life expectancies, and better working conditions employee longevity has spiked and is on the rise. As a result, the workplace has become more multigenerational than ever before, i.e., Baby Boomers Generation X, Millenials, and even Generation Z all working under the same roof. This poses a unique challenge to HR managers of today as each generation has specific expectations from work. HR now has to understand the needs of younger people in the workforce more, which is more important because they are even willing to skip jobs to have their expectations and needs met. According to Deloitte, lack of advancement opportunities, poor work/life balance in a company, inadequate financial compensation, boredom, and feeling unappreciated were the biggest reasons for millennials to leave their job. In the future, this situation is expected to become even more diverse with multiple generations with various ethnic backgrounds, cultures, expectations, and work styles will be expected to work alongside each other efficiently.
At Walden University, a survey conducted on more than 500 employees showed that at least 58% of managers have had to resolve conflicts between younger and older employees frequently. And hence, that is what we will look at this week because managers need to understand multigenerational working behaviors for them to manage their employees and resolve such conflicts effectively and, in the process, nurture an inclusive workplace.
Breaking the Multi-generational Barriers
Business leaders and organizations will have to switch up and improvise their management styles to adapt to the multi-generational setting. Managers have to educate themselves and address the needs of all ages within the respective workplaces. Here are some suggestions and tips for managers to incorporate in their strategies to overcome some of the generational barriers that they may face.
- Demonstrate Flexibility: Different age groups and different generations have their own respective needs and expectations, professionally and personally. As a manager, it is your responsibility to create and sustain a workplace that is open and flexible to accommodate such nuances, if required.
- Multiple Communication Channels: Ensure the use of multiple communication channels while addressing your employees. Apart from the standard channel of official emails, also utilize WhatsApp or any other form of modern communication channels. Multiple channels of communication also include different meeting formats.
- Frequent Feedback and Evaluation: Implement frequent feedback mechanisms and evaluations as this will help in keeping a track of the changing needs of the various generations working with you. Constant encouragement may also be necessary for the younger generation.
- Create space for knowledge sharing: Knowledge sharing can be a two-way road. Let the older and more experienced generation take the role of career mentors for the younger generations while the younger generation inspires the older staff with new and innovative solutions and ways of work.