Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace
3 Ways You Can Encourage Teamwork With Multiple Generations in the Workplace
Here’s an interesting thought: If you’re not already, you could be managing octogenarians alongside Millennials in the near future. More older Americans are choosing to delay retirement while a new generation enters the workforce. Managing these comes with specific challenges. Is it your goal is to help them see one another as individual multiple generations in the workplace and appreciate one another’s unique talents as a part of a great team? Here are three ways that you can encourage your employees to work harmoniously, no matter what the age gap:
Hire the right candidates. When you rely only on interview skills and a resume, you can easily apply the same stereotypes that you’re trying to avoid with your team. For instance, you may hire a Millennial, based on a perception (however mistaken) that a Millennial will breathe some new life into your team and help spur growth.
When, at the first team meeting, you find that your new hire is a bit sluggish in accepting another’s ideas and has antiquated concepts of business practices, you’ll have already invested a lot of resources into bringing them on with your company.
Avoid the pitfalls of generalizations and get some reliable data on your next hire. With a behavioral assessment, you receive objective information that predicts the way a person will behave and make decisions in a particular role, no matter what generation they represent.
Model the behavior you want out of your employees. In conversation and meetings, be ready to hear bold, new ideas from your more experienced staff, and expect that you’ll hear some great wisdom from your more recent hires. Part of what perpetuates generational stereotypes is subtle statements that solidify this type of thinking. For instance, if you are having a brainstorming meeting and your body language and conversation indicates that you expect more fresh ideas out of your younger staff members, you’ll experience a self-fulfilling prophecy situation. Instead, look to your staff, as much as possible, without preconceptions about their contributions.
Treat employees as individuals. There are certain trends with various generations in the workplace. When it comes to training, Baby Boomers may prefer more traditional settings or resources, while Millennials may appreciate a personalized training offered online. However, there are always exceptions to these trends, and your employees will enjoy working at a company where they are seen as individuals. Listen to your employees’ feedback and give them plenty of opportunities to offer it.
Seeing your employees as individuals begins with their interview process, where you can gain specific information about their fit for a particular role through a behavioral assessment. Contact PI Consulting Group for more information about the important ways a behavioral assessment like the PI System can move your company to the next level.