How to Approach Generational Differences in the Workplace

Generational Differences in the Workplace Can be a Positive

generational differences in the workplaceAssigning specific attributions to generations can sometimes be about as accurate and scientific as assigning attributions to people born under a particular sign. Outwardly, there seems to be some accuracy there, but the differences can definitely overlap among generations. When it comes to generational differences in the workplace, is there some common ground from which to build an effective team?

One thing is certain today that differs from previous generations – employees are no longer making lifetime commitments to one company alone. They’re jumping around, finding new careers and new positions in different companies, becoming part of effective teams and moving up the ladder. This can create a diverse situation where old and young employees from different cultures work together (or against each other). How can you make sure your teams are on the productive side rather than destructive?

First, don’t buy in to the stereotypes about specific generations that eventually become warning labels. Instead, generational differences in the workplace should be approached per person rather than per generation. Some issues can pop up. For instance, Robert is 58 and dresses quite formally when he comes to work. Sara, 24, is much more casual regarding her attire, which Robert might consider somewhat disrespectful.

Technology is another area where generational differences in the workplace can create a chasm. Robert didn’t grow up with the Internet. In fact, he was well into his career before email was a regular thing. Sara, on the other hand, doesn’t know a world without the Internet. Teams that embrace letting the younger generation take the lead on helping others out with technology come out on top.

These are some rather simplified examples of how different generations react to specific situations, but what about getting at the underlying work ethos that motives or de-motivates individuals on a team? It can be difficult to know exactly how one person is going to relate to another, regardless of their generation.

Through a scientifically proven process called behavioral assessment, you’ll know exactly how Robert and Sara will work with each other (or against each other) on projects. It’s an easy test to take and analyzed by professionals who can identify up to 7,000 positive correlations between business performance and assessment.

The best vendors of behavioral assessment solutions use a web-hosted software platform to help you quickly prioritize candidates based on cognitive and behavioral attributes. You essentially eliminate guesswork to build up a team that will achieve goals.

At PI Consulting Group, we’ve developed a process that has been proven time and again to help our clients achieve the type of teams they need to get ahead. We’ll be with you every step of the way to unlock the potential of your employees and identify leaders. Contact us today and let’s talk about your multi-generational workforce.