Shifting to Team Strengths Instead of Generational Differences Builds a Better Team

generational differencesLook around. You may have four generations working together within your company. You could have Traditionalists, Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y all attempting to collaborate in your business, and you may be noticing some generational differences in the workplace.


In fact, communication styles and decision-making can be strongly affected by multiple generations, and one study says that at least 60 percent of employers have marked challenges in these areas. It’s easy to slide into team misunderstandings across multiple generations – while missing key opportunities for growth.


Have you experienced any of these communication differences among genders?


  • Traditionalists and Boomers may have a different level of comfort with some types of technology than Generation Y. Email and texting as regular forms of communication may strike older generations in your office as being too informal or disrespectful when communicating with customers.
  • Your Generation Y employee typically interprets phone calls and paper communication as inefficient and inconvenient, preferring immediate, modern communication.
  • Members of Generation X can relate to the generations before and after them, having grown up without the daily presence of computers, but also having embraced email and texting as young adults.


Workplace attitudes: Dive deep for better performance

To work with generational differences in a positive way, many successful businesses are looking toward behavioral data. Using this type of science-based approach, you’ll be more knowledgeable about what drives employees and their needs in key areas like decision-making, team participation and delegation. It’s important for your leadership to see beyond generational descriptions and learn enough about your employees to match them to the best possible position in your team. You may need to ask yourself, “Am I expecting employees to perform in positions that don’t align with their strengths?”


A behavioral assessment gives a clear picture of a person’s tendencies, making it easier to place them with other team members that will complement their style. Similarly, if you have a situation where an employee seems to be ill-fitted for their position, you might be surprised to learn that they are perfectly suited for a role in another department. Behavioral assessments with an accompanying consultation help you make informed decisions about reorganization, often with significant cost savings.


Taking a closer look at your team’s strengths, challenges and potential helps you move beyond conversations that may tend to blame generational differences in the workplace for every problem that arises. It’s better to have a deep understanding of who your employees are rather than explain tension with generational tendencies.


If you are interested in moving past generational differences on your team, give us a call at PI Consulting Group. We offer an opportunity for you to have a more comprehensive understanding of your talent, make data-driven decisions and leverage your current talent for optimum growth. Let’s get started today.