As more and more millennials join the workforce, managers are faced with an increasingly critical issue: managing a multigenerational workforce. As millennials join the workforce, baby boomers and Gen Xers stay working longer than previous generations. In the past, managers may have faced the challenge of managing one or two generations, but today, it is more likely to have a workforce that is spanning multiple generations.
Why is this so difficult? The different generations currently in the workforce have different styles of working, desire different things from employers, and have all-around different expectations of work situations. Because managers are faced with this challenge, their job can become increasingly difficult. Here are few ways to make this challenge a little less taxing:
Make It Personal
As you manage multiple people and multiple generations, you will discover that the best way to interact is to make it personal. You need to treat each employee as an individual because that is exactly what they are. When you go out of your way to learn names, hobbies, interests, and career goals, you will find that your workforce is more productive and motivated.
If you find your employees are not working well together, it could be because older and younger employees work differently and view things on different terms. In order to help bridge this work gap, pair older workers with young ones in a mentor setting. Do not force the mentorship on anyone and be sure you are selective of who is paired with who, but a mentorship could be exactly what is missing.
Keep your employees involved and stay involved yourself. When you take the time to engage employees, you take the time to show them you care. Engaged employees are typically better workers because you show interest in their work. Engaging employees goes beyond saying, “hello.” It is taking the time to listen to their ideas and to their goals within your organization.
Keep Things Open
As a manager, you might be tempted to set standards for things like communication. When you do this, you could be limited certain employees preferred styles of working, which means they could end up being unhappy employees. Instead, keep an open mind and allow employees to work the best way they know how.
Don’t Box Employees In
Managing employees who span multiple generations is difficult. In dealing with this difficulty, you might be tempted to treat everyone in a specific generation the same way. However, doing this will box employees in. By doing this, you are assuming that everyone in the same generation is the same, which is not the case. Instead, engage employees and treat them as the individuals they are.
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