Realizing the Benefits of a Generationally Diverse Team

Feb 21, 2024 | Business + Lifestyle

For the first time in modern history, there are five generations in the workforce. Does your business reflect some or all of these generations that grew up in very different times and bring unique life and career experiences to the table? If so, kudos to you.

As businesses with generationally diverse teams, it’s important to learn how to collaborate with and appreciate the unique preferences, habits and behaviors of all our team members to realize the full benefits a team like this can bring. Here’s where to begin:

Toss the stereotypes: While it’s true that each era’s world events, economic conditions, trends and cultural norms have influenced how people of each generation think and behave, they are individuals. They don’t fit in neatly defined categories, so toss those stereotypes.

Get to know everyone: Have regular check-ins with all your team members—and not just about work. Learning and caring about what’s happening in each person’s life will create trust, plus provide ideas for how you might recognize and retain them for the long-term.

Tailor your messages: Employees of different age groups might have different communication styles, preferences and interpretations of the same message. Keep this in mind whenever you are communicating, but still remember that each person is unique.

Encourage exchanges: Look for opportunities—whether it be a collaboration or mentoring program—for two-way exchanges. Younger generations will get the feedback they crave, while older generations will feel more connected and see past pre-conceived differences.

Be a leader for all: Studies show that different generations want different things from a leader. Millennials desire a manager who can connect employees to a common purpose; Gen Xers want someone who can roll up their sleeves and problem-solve; and Boomers see leaders as strategic thinkers who are admired, yet distant. Keep these in mind as you work to inspire and engage all your generations.

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