How To Effectively Manage A Multigenerational Workforce

Workplaces have different generations of employees. Some workplaces feature a certain age, while others have a combination of two or more generations. As a business owner, you must recognize each generation according to its distinctive features and what each generation needs to maximize productivity.

You should recognize your workplace's needs to identify which generation best fits a role or a department. This essential step will help you determine which ages you need to work for and how two or more generations will coexist and collaborate at the workplace to ensure teamwork, unity, and maximum productivity.

As one of the leading global recruitment companies, we recognize this as a challenge our clients face. So, we have compiled a list of tips you can implement today to enjoy all the benefits of working with a multigenerational workforce.

Mixing and Matching: The Workforce's Generational Blend

We must first identify the different generations that most workplaces have.

  1. The Silent Generation (Born Between 1928-1945)

Most people are either in their late seventies or early eighties. While most have already quit the workplace, some still occupy positions such as board members, partners, and other advisory roles. While they can often be loyal, most of the time, they prefer sticking to old traditions and struggle to keep up with new technologies like the younger generations.

  1. Baby Boomers (Born Between 1946-1964)

Most employees are between their late fifties and early seventies. Most of them are either retired or on their way to retirement. Those still working have a similar workplace character to the silent generation. They value hard work and discipline and are more self-assured than younger generations, but just like the silent generation, they prefer doing things their way: the old way.

  1. Generation X (Born Between 1965-1980)

These employees are either in their forties or fifties. In contrast to the more notable traits of its contemporaries, this generation is frequently disregarded. They are consequently more direct, flexible, and independent.

  1. Millennials (Born Between 1981-1995)

These employees are in their early twenties to mid-thirties. They maintain the same values as their previous generation but are more tech-savvy and crave recognition, attention, reassurance, and validation. Although hardworking, this generation struggles with financial insecurity and seeks a sense of accomplishment to perform at their best. 

  1. Generation Z (Born Between 1996-2010)

Gen Z is the most talked about generation nowadays. They are only getting to join the workforce. However, they are doing so in large numbers. They are more tech-savvy, diverse, and open-minded. 

They are also more knowledgeable about cultural trends. Self-improvement and having a positive impact on a mission drive them the most.

Here are some of the tips that at HireMango we have realized are producing desirable results for most of our clients worldwide:

Mastering Multi-Gen Management: 11 Expert Tips

  1. Bridge The Gap: Team Education For Multi-Gen Success

Always invest in educating your teams so they are more aware and knowledgeable about how to coexist and co-work with other generations at the workplace. Always ensure you are pointing out the differences between the ages and ways you intend to bridge the gap between the ages. Educating your team will ensure they always have information enabling them to make the best choices when confronted by workplace conflicts that arise due to generational gaps.

Educating your employees about multigenerational gaps also lets them know more about their generation and distinct characteristics. On top of that, they will be more aware of what they need to do consistently to accommodate other ages, no matter the differences.

  1. Respectful Relations: Key To Multi-Gen Management

The key to respect at the workplace is first acknowledging the presence of the various generations. Each generation should feel a sense of belonging and acknowledgment that will make them comfortable working and interacting with colleagues without fear of discrimination. As the leader, you need to be the first to initiate respect. 

The rest will follow suit once you set a precedent. Finally, respect will enable all generations at the workplace to feel acknowledged for who they are and what they have to offer.

  1. Multi-Gen Collaboration: A Big Picture Perspective

Each generation has its way of working. Instead of focusing on the path of doing things, you will need to focus more on the end goal. Should you instead decide to follow up on each different generation, you will be micromanaging them, and in the end, you will spread yourself so thin that you will lose focus of the bigger picture.

You, therefore, need to give each generation the suitable space, time, and leeway to get things done in their way. In a way that will acknowledge and respect each generation's way of doing things.

  1. Cross-gen Success: Learn & Lead

Foster a culture of cross-generational learning among your employees so they can always know more about each other and how to treat and respect each other at the workplace. Continuous learning allows your employees to be more knowledgeable about the different generations at the workplace and how best to interact with them to get maximum team productivity. Each generation will learn something new from the preceding generations or the generations after them. 

For example, generation Z can teach the preceding generations about new technologies and how to use them. The silent era and the baby boomers can also teach the other generations about essential values such as hard work, discipline, and loyalty which are all admirable. 

Always teach your employees the humility to ask questions from other employees of different generations. Learning is growing, and growth leads to improved workplace output.

  1. Break The Age Barrier: Bias-free Workforce

Instead of stereotyping generations at the workplace, embrace diversity and eliminate stereotypes. Instead, employees should always be ready to explore and try out trends that they do not possess but that some of their team members have.

Do not usually assign team members tasks suited to their generational characteristics but rather assign tasks that challenge them to be more than their generation. As a result, you enable your employees to constantly gain more skills and stop being conservative rather than open-minded.

  1. Custom-fit Work: Flex Solutions For All

Instead of forcing employees to adhere to strict shifts, create flexible schedules that suit all employees according to their needs and situations. When acknowledging the presence of a multigenerational workforce at your workplace, you need first to recognize that they all are not the same but rather they possess different traits.

To get maximum productivity from all your employees, ensure they work in a shift that suits their current situation and needs. Get everyone to work in a shift that enables them to focus, do more, and produce superior quality.

  1. Unite In Similarities, And Thrive in Diversity.

You may be surprised to find out that a multigenerational workforce possesses many similarities, just as there are many differences among them. After all, most workers merely want to feel involved in their profession, earn a fair wage, succeed, improve their quality of life, and be recognized. Similarly, many of us have the same annoyances, such as feeling overworked and underpaid. Provide opportunities for your staff to come together and aid in easing those tensions.

Therefore, you should acknowledge this and use the similarities to unite your employees. Acknowledge similarities just the same as you respect diversity.

  1. Boundaries Matter: Respect For All

You always need to maintain certain boundaries regarding workplace relations. For example, as much as Gen Zs will be open to jokes and pranks, it doesn't mean that the silent generations and baby boomers will also tolerate such things. 

Therefore, you should ensure that all ages know other generations' boundaries to ensure workplace harmony.

By acknowledging and respecting all the generations in your workplace, you will also consider the do's and don'ts to ensure you are always within limits and minimize conflicts.

  1. Gen-wise: Understand And Motivate

To get the most and the best out of each generation, you must first understand their needs and desires to ensure you meet them. Each generation wants to feel recognized and understood for who they are, what they have to offer, and most importantly, what they aren't capable of regarding work delivery and workplace interactions.

As the leader, you must be clever and understand each employee to know what motivates them. You will then always use these motivators to keep them happy and focused on their tasks, duties, responsibilities, and deliverables. Motivation at the workplace is always necessary to ensure high-quality output, and employees are always motivated to do more and better.

  1. Power in Diversity: Celebrate Strengths

Identifying each generation's strengths and weaknesses would be beneficial. Then, ensure they always utilize their powers to the maximum potential to give you superior quality. Also, ensure that you encourage them to constantly work on improving their weaknesses each day to be better at what they do.

Celebrating each generation's strengths at the workplace will also be fruitful. This will appreciate them for who they are and the value they offer your business. Ensure they understand they have a special place at your workplace and the value they add to the rest of the team.

  1.  Flex Management: Adapt To All Gens

You will finally need to adapt to the needs, strengths, and weaknesses of each generation at your workplace to get the best out of them. To do this, you need to apply flexibility in your management style, which is both a leadership and management skill that top people managers have. All generations must feel treated equally and understood for who they are and what they offer.

This will enable them to work with the full knowledge that they are acknowledged, respected, and appreciated. You will also need to give each generation the right amount of workplace support that is suitable for them to ensure they are always working and producing at their very best.

Thrive Together: A Workplace For All

As you can see, leading a multigenerational workplace is not only possible but also it needs a leader who can pay attention continuously and always be proactive in their management strategy and not reactive. Always get ahead of situations through policies and plans to ensure conflicts do not arise, and if they appear, you calm them as soon as possible. Leading a multigenerational workplace is good since it has many benefits you can only enjoy if you know how to manage one effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Manage a Multigenerational Workforce Effectively

How Do You Create Harmony Between Generations At Work?

The secret to fostering intergenerational unity is recognizing and valuing the diversity of different generations. Then encourage them, using each generation's distinctive working methods. People will work together more effectively the more they comprehend one another. Finally, promote intergenerational interaction among your staff.

How Do You Embrace Generational Differences In The Workplace?

Provide positions of leadership based more on ability than age. Embrace everyone. Create teams of various ages to encourage a better knowledge of everyone's skills and shortcomings. Programs for mentoring and reverse mentoring should be developed to ensure employees of all ages can learn from one another.

What Causes Conflict Between Generations?

Differences in values, expectations, communication styles, attitudes toward power structures or hierarchies, different work approaches, or even personality features are a few probable causes of generational disputes.