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4 Tips for Leading a Multigenerational Staff

4 Tips for Leading a Multigenerational Staff

As a manager, team leader or CEO, part of your job is to figure out how to get a team of people with different strengths and goals to come together for the overall good of the company or project. Not only are you dealing perhaps with different departments, but you’re probably dealing with different generationswith different outlooks on life. Older generations may be reluctant to change how they operate while younger generations may not know how to work well in teams. Get employees from multiple generations to work together well, and your business will reap the benefits of having a well-rounded team.

Earn an Advanced Degree

Earn an advanced degreefor more insight on effective leadership; degrees such as organizational development and leadership are perfect for encouraging better collaboration at your workplace. Plus, your professors and classmates will represent multiple generations, and collaborating with them on projects will give you ideas for transferring that teamwork to your business.

Offer Technology Training

While there are always exceptions, especially among those who go back to school, in general your younger employees are more likely to be familiar with the latest technology than your older employees. That’s not to say older employees can’t adjust to changes in technology; it’s just that younger ones used that technology to complete projects in school more recently.

Technology streamlines your business, so if you choose to adopt something new, everyone needs to get on board — not just the younger generations. Task human resources with training for anyone unfamiliar with the technology needed for a project or offer to send people back to school for a few courses on how to use the technology. Hold a weekly check-in with the employees who requested additional training for the first few months of the new technology implementation to make sure they’re adjusting well.

Insist on Collaborative Communication

You can’t let one generation dominate the conversation, and that goes both ways. Someone who’s been at the company for a long time may think she has all the answers, or someone who’s new to the company may be eager to convince everyone to try new ideas. You need both the seasoned hand and the fresh perspective.

Whenever there’s a discussion, hold meetings and make sure everyone brings up ideas and pose questions. Don’t let employees group off into single-generation groups, either. Assign seating so a millennial is seated next to a baby boomer, for example. If the group is too large to let everyone speak one at once, ask them to discuss ideas in small groups with their neighbors and present theirsuggestions as a group.

Encourage Mentor Relationships

Whenever possible,match people of different generations together in a mentor relationship for projects. A head architect who’s been with the company for years may pull out an old project and show the new employees what he’s done before and what may work on the new project. At the same time, a newly hired architect can bring up designs that have won her praise from professors because of their innovativeness. Generations between can bridge the gap and make the young employee’s innovative ideas into a practical reality.

As multigenerational employees become more comfortable working with one another in specific projects, they’ll turn to each other even when not instructed to do so. The key to a mentor relationship is not just for the younger employees to learn how the business runs, but also for the older employees to learn to value new input.

The average age a worker retires at has become later and later in life in recent years, and as the Huffington Post reports, as much as 16 percent of seniors over the age of 65 are still in the workforce. There will always be a new generation to hire who will bring fresh insights to the company, but you can’t beat the experience and dedication of the people who’ve worked for decades. Learn how to lead a team comprised of workers from multiple generations — and your company will thrive.

 

About the Author:Jim Dawkins is a manager at a Fortune 500 company in California.

 

http://www.123rf.com/photo_7791937_portrait-of-businessteam-at-work-pointing-at-computer-screen-looking-at-camera-smiling-senior-execut.html

As a manager, team leader or CEO, part of your job is to figure out how to get a team of people with different strengths and goals to come together for the overall good of the company or project. Not only are you dealing perhaps with different departments, but you’re probably dealing with different generationswith different outlooks on life. Older generations may be reluctant to change how they operate while younger generations may not know how to work well in teams. Get employees from multiple generations to work together well, and your business will reap the benefits of having a well-rounded team.

Published by valentine belonwu

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