Using Diversity to Your Advantage With Different Generations in the Workplace
What a boring world it would be if everyone were the same. We’re often defined by our differences, but when it comes to generations in the workplace, these differences can present challenges.
With a little empathy, communication and understanding, many potential frays in the workplace when you have multiple generations can be avoided. Management, in particular, needs to understand the different ways employees work so they can help them effectively tackle their daily tasks.
First and foremost, managers need to pay attention to what’s going on and what employees are excited about? What is putting them on edge? When they complain, what exactly are they upset over? Exit interviews can be a gold mine of information from which managers can right the wrongs, but daily interaction can also provide many insights.
We’ve all heard the stereotypes that “define” each generation in the workplace:
- “Gen Y are entitled and refuse to work hard”
Don’t believe it. This is a generation that doesn’t want to waste time and prefers to tackle tasks that involve their unique skills. Managers need to explain to them the importance of “busy work” and offer regular feedback. This is a generation that looks for challenges, so feed it to them.
- “Gen Xers are not team players”
Another falsehood. Gen Xers are goal-oriented and will thrive when mentored. Don’t micromanage this group, as they do have an independent streak.
- “Baby Boomers are stuck in their ways”
They really aren’t. This group has decades of experience that can be put to good use, such as making them mentors to younger generations. When offered the right training, they will handle new tasks with ease. They are also empowered when they are given titles that reflect their years in the industry.
Each person, regardless of their generation, is an individual and should be approached not so much as what age group they fall under, but how they respond to workplace stimuli. Some Boomers will have traits of the youngest group in your workplace, and vice versa.
Make the Connections
The most productive workplaces will have strong connections among team members. When they’re connected, they feel more satisfied with their job and are less likely to suffer burnout.
Managers can facilitate this by effectively communicating with everyone under them because they’re a critical link between each and every member of the team. They can head off conflict before it becomes a real problem and match the right people on projects where their skills will complement the other employees.
Using the Predictive Index
Generations in the workplace can be a positive attribute to your organization. However, the people you bring in must match your company culture and the core mission of your organization. Utilizing behavioral assessments, you can unlock what is otherwise a hidden secret in your employees. You can determine what style of management they’ll thrive under. The Predictive Index’s cognitive assessment can reveal who your future leaders are.
Contact us at PI Consulting Group and let’s talk about how we can make the Predictive Index work for you.