Today’s workforce is made up of Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. There are many distinct differences between each of these generations, and that can lead to some tension in the office. When managing multiple generations, there are a few things you should keep in mind to lead to a functioning, happy workplace.
People like to poke fun at Baby Boomers for not knowing how to use modern technology. However, younger generations may not understand how to use traditional office technology, such as fax machines. There are sure to be some technical hurdles in any office, so be prepared to explain how to use different pieces of technology often. Additionally, this could be a great opportunity for some multi-generational teamwork. You can pair up an older employee with a younger one when one of them is struggling. Just be sure that everyone treats each other kindly.
Different people communicate differently, even within generations. Yet, Baby Boomers and Gen X may have an easier time communicating face-to-face and over email, while Millennials and Gen Z may prefer quick messages. Because of this, the way you provide important information should cover all bases. Try meetings in-person, as well as an email follow-up. You can also send some reminders via an internal messaging app. If someone continually seems to forget what you’ve said, see if there is an issue in your delivery. Do your best to be inclusive.
Holding Everyone Accountable
When it comes to office professionalism, some difficulties can arise with multiple generations. On one hand, some people may not be up-to-date on words or phrases that are considered impolite today. On the other hand, some people may have immature reactions to daily stress. It is crucial to hold everyone accountable at the same level. People need the opportunity to grow and become better people, and that only happens when they are aware that their behavior is not appropriate.
Managing multiple generations can seem like a headache to some. In reality, it can be a rewarding experience where everyone learns something from one-another. Play to your team’s strengths, but remember that there will inevitably be some generational barriers to break through. Do what you can to be inclusive and make everyone feel comfortable in the workplace.