The modern-day workplace has become a multigenerational arena with 4 main players, including baby boomers, Generation X, the millennial generation, and Generation Z. This brings together a workforce comprised of individuals whose age differences span over 60 years. Managing a multigenerational workforce can be a daunting challenge, especially if the manager does not know what to expect. Here is an overview of the vital skills necessary to successfully manage such a multi-generational workforce.
- Facilitate dialogue
There is no better way to bring people together from different walks of life and age than facilitating open dialogue and free communication. Such communication, whether official or unofficial, serves as a platform that helps break down certain generational barriers that affect a multigenerational workforce. This approach helps limit certain preconceived judgments that the extreme ends of the young and the old workforce may exhibit.
- Define expectations
As a leader, you may have to stand and take your position as far as what you expect from the multigenerational employees is concerned. Setting boundaries that define the conduct of employees is a vital aspect that creates a level workplace environment, thereby making it suitable for everyone to work conveniently. Facilitating the existence of accountability prevents one generation from exploiting the other.
- Allow some flexibility
Flexibility when dealing with the older part of a multigenerational workforce is highly necessary. For instance, bringing together different persons with different ages into the same workforce will certainly exhibit some differences as far as productivity is concerned. Older workers will generally tend to have reduced productivity, minimal creativity, and tremendous experience. On the other hand, the younger workforce will tend to be more productive, highly creative, and less experienced. Understanding the limitations of each faction of the workforce is crucial to preventing victimization in the workplace.
- Develop a feedback mechanism
Just like in any other workplace, feedback is crucial, especially from employees and customers. As a manager, it is your responsibility to generate various platforms for obtaining regular, open, and specific feedback. The feedback obtained should be constructive and should lead you to make certain adjustments that may be necessary to make the workplace a more productive environment for everyone.
- Use varied communication
Communication is the backbone that can help bring together different people. When communicating in a multigenerational workplace, it is vital to ensure that you use various channels and approaches to communication. This is to facilitate convenience and understanding for all members of the workforce. The older generation tends to be savvier with non-technology mediated forms of communication such as direct mail and phone calls, while the younger generation utilizes text messages, emails, and social media.