3 Tips to Combine a Multi-Generational Workforce

The clashing of cultures occurring in today’s workplace is unlike any other time in corporate history.  Overcoming the finger pointing and negative attitudes may seem like an impossible task when trying to overcome all of the multi-generational workplace issues, but by employing a few simple tricks you can bridge the generation gap and create a highly functioning multi-generational workforce.

1.  Tailor your approach.  Boomers come from a generation where they took orders and did what they were told without needing to understand the why.  Millenials crave interaction with leadership and want to be a part of the discussion.  Recognize these differences and work with managers and supervisors to understand the communication differences and find a middle ground.

2.  Talk about communication.  Each generation comes with their own communication styles and preferences.  Gen X’ers prefer face-to-face communication, while Millenials think that a smart phone isn’t for talking, but for texting and social media.  Just because people can talk doesn’t mean they know how to communicate.  Talk about communication styles during team meetings and model the behavior that you expect.

3.  Find a cause.  Boomers come from a generation where much of their early years were spent fighting for a cause or a movement.  This need to fight for something is deeply ingrained in their DNA.  Millenials crave the opportunity to be a part of something.  They are looking to change the world, but quite often don’t know where to turn to make a difference.  By uniting the team towards a common goal, they will have a common ground to stand on and work towards.

By combining the four generations (Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millenials) and tapping into the variety of backgrounds and approaches, businesses can unlock the door to new levels of creativity and productivity and put behind them the multi-generational workplace issues holding them back.  The mixed workforce is here to stay, and the more you can tap into each generation’s talents and abilities, the more successful you’re likely to be.

Do you have any other tips? We’d love to hear them!