We now have four generations at work and many employers have embraced the diverse energy and experience that these people bring to an organisation. As businesses become less hierarchical and more focused on agile ways of working, there has never been more opportunities for all staff, across multiple generations, to be working together to become a powerful team.
Adopting a cross-team and cross-business collaboration culture within your business allows everyone to learn about different perspectives and experiences.
The challenge can be to find ways to bridge generational gaps. Using individuals unique strengths is the key to maintaining a positive company culture for a generationally diverse workforce.
Regardless of a company’s size, the company’s culture and expectation of respect will be the foundation that ultimately sees a company thrive with a diverse team. To develop the environment for success across these generations it is important that your team understands and respects the company culture. It is an expectation that everyone is able to acknowledge that each person has something unique to offer, including their own personal skills and experience.
Some ways to help build your generationally diverse company culture include:
- Develop and communicate widely your company culture, including the expectation of respect for every person in your organisation.
- Allow each of your team, regardless of their age, the same opportunity to receive new training, be introduced to new techniques and learn new computer software that is relevant for their role.
- Develop a healthy company-wide culture of embracing change and being given the opportunity for training. This will give your business a greater depth of knowledge, skills and productivity.
- Encourage your employees from different generations to work together through team-building activities or collaborative projects. This interaction is unlikely to come naturally, as most people will be inclined to spend time with their generational peers. Each generation will bring different skills and strengths to their team or project. Once exposed to this your team develops a deeper understanding and respect for these strengths and differences.
- Understand the difference in attitude that is influenced by their generation. Share this with your management team so that everyone is better equipped to nurture and support all staff.
- Maintain open lines of communication and be open to feedback. By offering this you will have the best opportunity to improve levels of satisfaction of the employees you manage regardless of their age.