October 31, 2018
Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
The US workforce is made up of people from five different generations. At many companies, Millennials work alongside Baby Boomers.The good news is that diverse teams perform better, have greater understanding of their client base and are more innovative! The bad news is that managing across generations can cause conflict, if leaders don’t understand how to embrace and manage through differences.
Some tips to managing across generations:
1. Interrupt blindspots
We all have blindspots when it comes to generational stereotypes.
Millennials are lazy, Gen Xers are not ambitious, and Baby Boomers don’t like change.
While formative influence, which changes over time, can contribute to shaping a generation’s beliefs and values, putting emphasis on these stereotypes is both overrated and dangerous.
When we look at what people really want from their leaders and their work, we find much common ground:
2. Lead individuals, not groups
When it comes to inspiring human beings…what’s age got to do with it?
If you want to understand what motivates people, get some science! Unbiased, scientifically validated behavioral assessments give leaders insight into what drives people, what they need, and how they prefer to communicate.
3. Bridge the divide between generations
The best way to get people to understand each other is to create positive connections where they can gain perspective.
Some ideas to connect the generations to bridge the divide:
4. Create a workplace for all
Leading diverse teams, whether referencing different generations, or any diverse groups, will require leaders to apply these fundamental principles:
None of these tips work if you don’t have a culture that values open, honest, communication, starting with the top! Employees respect and like honest, ethical, fair leaders who care about them. Develop your leaders to foster open communication, while learning to celebrate differences in people! After all, the real value in diversity comes from those differing perspectives! Embrace them, don’t run from them!