Generational Differences in the Workplace Can Be an Advantage

Addressing the similarities and diversities with generational differences in the workplace matters.

It’s not unusual to see employees in a typical work environment ranging in age from those who were born during the Truman administration to those who have never known a world without the Internet. Generational differences in the workplace are as prevalent now as ever. But the question is, can you use this to your advantage?

Each individual, regardless of their generation, and sometimes, because of it, have unique skillsets that can be capitalized on. They have different approaches to learning, taking direction from immediate supervisors and they approach tackling their daily tasks in their own unique way.

It’s become apparent that as employers see generational differences in the workplace, they have to be more cognizant of how they’re going to react to contrasting styles for positive outcomes rather than avoid them.

Passing the Torch

Within the next five years, Millennials are expected to make up almost 75% of the workforce. As with any generation, they have their approach to productivity. When their take differs from those who have been around for far longer, management needs to lead the way in working through those differences.

How can you prepare your leadership to manage the differences? Quality managers will listen with intent, get to know the preferences of each employee and create an atmosphere where the generational differences in the workplace become an asset.

They must also take into account that as the older generation prepares for retirement, new and youthful leaders are coming into their own. Can the two get along?

Shared Values

The youthful workforce is known for bouncing from one job to the next as they make their way up the ladder. The older employees have likely been at the same company for years and years because they feel a sense of loyalty. There are many differences like this to draw upon, but there are also some workplace similarities.

For example, quality employees, regardless of their generation, often share fundamental values that are important to employers, such as work ethic and accountability. They strive to meet or exceed goals. Furthermore, these similarities can be emboldened by creating a mentorship program within your onboarding strategy. Few things can create a revolving door in a company like creating a situation where frustration about how to do a job runs rampant, which is why if you have workers that have been on the job for decades and have a vast amount of knowledge to pass down, new employees appreciate being given the tools to do their job more effectively.

Whether you’re seeking out a new crop of employees to lead you into the future or you’re looking to promote managers who can work with the generational differences, a tool that has great value for you is the Predictive Index. It’s is a method that uses behavioral and cognitive assessments that take the guesswork out of hiring and promoting.

At PI Consulting Group, we can assist you in analyzing assessments and give you more clarity in hiring and promoting the right individuals. Furthermore, our solutions can help you develop more productive teams. Contact us and learn more about how we can benefit your company.