One of the most common challenges that management faces today involves generational differences within the workplace. The generation gap is widening in the workplace and when the differences of each are understood, it is easier to implement training and communication tactics that are successful. Exposing the different generations to each other can spark innovation and greater collaboration. From baby boomers (roughly 51 to 69) to millennials (18-34), management must throw away the “One-Size-Fits-All” mentality and adapt to the different learning styles of each generation.
Millennials are perceived to be more tech-savvy and collaborative while baby boomers are more reserved with years of experience, they each have a great deal to learn from each other. Implementing a mentoring or coaching program creates a platform to help build stronger relationships and teamwork between coworkers.
Adopting effective communication techniques and identifying different feedback styles are imperative to keeping employees engaged. While boomers are used to the formality of phone calls, millennials may find texts and social networking essential methods of communicating. In addition to communication styles, each generation responds better through different feedback methods. Boomers are more accustomed to being rewarded through promotions while millennials seek instant gratification.
Employees of all generations want to know their work is valuable to the company. Ensuring that everyone sees that they are working toward the same end, and that their goals are aligned, also helps employees come together as one cohesive unit.
– Lori L. Palmer, President, REB Storage Systems International