You often see great age-diversity among employees working in a company or organization. This diverse workforce is also referred to as a multigenerational workforce. This workforce comprises employees from nearly five generations, namely traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X, millennials, and generation Z. You can observe great diversity in opinions, perspectives, ideas, work methods, and priorities.
There is a common notion that the young generation cannot function harmoniously with the older generation. However, that’s not completely true. If you can establish effective communication and a collaborative atmosphere, you can use this age diversity to benefit.
Moreover, multigenerational workforces are not a burden and provide a competitive edge over companies having a uniform demographic. There are various strategies to bring about harmony for employees with a significant age gap. Some of these strategies are as follows-
Understand the Demographics and Age-Diversity
Your Human Resource (HR) and People teams must be aware of the demographics and age-related diversity among your employees. You must conduct regular surveys and acquire employee feedback consistently to get an insight into what the employees want. This way, you may also know about their preferred sources of communication, as it is one of the most important aspects of a workforce that can either separate or unite the employees.
In the case of a multigenerational workforce, effective communication is of paramount importance. For such communication to happen among different generations, you need surveys and employee-feedback. By knowing the preferred communication sources, you can express your views and plans to them more effectively. The important point to note here is that you must never ignore your company’s diverse age groups.
Don’t Believe in Age-related Stereotypes
The corporate sector is always brewing with age-related stereotypes, and most of them are not right. The young generation thinks that the older generation is not flexible or adapting, loathe technology, and are intolerant towards the young people’s opinions. The older generation considers young minds to be spoilt, inconsistent, and unable to stay in one job for long.
Such stereotypes create animosity between different generations leading to unnecessary rifts. Your responsibility must be to dissolve those stereotypes and encourage your workforce to be open-minded and collaborate rather than resort to groups and judgments.
Encourage and Enable Collaborative Atmosphere
Your company needs a multigenerational and collaborative atmosphere. The older generations have extensive knowledge and years of experience in the industry. They know how the industry works inside-out. The young generation is well-versed with technology and the current trends in the market. Moreover, they are curious to learn and imbibe more information.
You must form a strategy to unite both these mindsets to establish a collaborative environment wherein your employees exchange ideas, perspectives, and various solutions for each problem.
Introduce Generational Mentoring
As mentioned above, the younger generation is open to learn and adapt. They are curious and can imbibe loads of knowledge. The older generation can quench this thirst for knowledge. Therefore, you must establish mentorship programs in the organization wherein young minds are mentored by old hawks. This way, you establish a bond between different generations based on mutual respect. This strategy shall help you prevent any useless banter or conflicts in the workforce. A united workforce is ultimately a company’s most precious asset.
Give Importance to Needs and Aspirations of All
Every generation of employees has a set of needs and aspirations different from the rest. Such employees are at different stages of life and thus, have varying expectations from the job. It would help if you tried to cater to reasonable expectations while ensuring that you don’t neglect or ignore a particular age-group.
A multigenerational workforce is considered an organization’s most important asset because of the diverse opinions, solutions, and ways to approach an issue. You don’t receive such diversity within a uniform workforce. Hence, it would help if you devised specific strategies to unite the workforce to help your company reach its ultimate potential.