Motivating Different Generations in the Workplace Proactively
Thriving With Different Generations in the Workplace
With each generation comes a stereotype. While there might be some truth in the stereotype, it’s not a given that just because an employee is born into a specific generation, that they will have the exact assigned attributes. When you have different generations in the workplace, it’s important to remember each employee is an individual with unique strengths and weaknesses.
From Baby Boomers to Millennials, each employee will bring different skill sets to the workplace. Furthermore, the ways in which they communicate will be different. It’s possible that a Baby Boomer and a Millennial could have very different preferences, and it’s important to understand those differences as you build your teams.
For example, one of them might prefer more direct interaction when it comes to getting details on an assignment, whereas the other is fine getting them through an email. While it might be more efficient for you to shoot out a quick email, it’s more productive in the long run to take the time to talk it out with employees who prefer a more face-to-face form of communication.
Have you noticed how text-ready your younger generations are? Have you also noticed that many older employees find texting a complete hassle? Again, this isn’t going to be true across the board, but Millennials are certainly more inclined to communicate via text than via phone.
With multiple generations in the workplace, recognizing the barriers is part of being available, which is what good leaders strive to be. Being open and available instills a sense of trust in employees, which in turn makes them more empowered and productive.
Change is good, but it doesn’t always feel that way, especially for an employee that has been doing a job a certain way for a long time. It might be a situation where they feel they’ve learned everything and close the door to growth opportunities.
Employees who feel they’ve already learned everything they possibly can need to be gently prodded in proactive ways to challenge that belief. For example, give the generations in the workplace a chance to work together, each gleaning something off of each other. Often, this is the key to opening new doors for those who have settled into a specific pattern.
One of the best ways to put a high-functioning team together is to utilize the predictive index method, which utilizes behavioral and cognitive assessments that provide a large number of insights into how a person will fit (or not fit) your company culture. Furthermore, the predictive index method will show you how each individual prefers to communicate, regardless of his or her generation. Find out more about what we do and start getting involved in a more proactive way of communicating with your employees.