Managing Different Generations

A Message Different Than The Others – March 13, 2020
March 13, 2020
FFCRA Summary – March 19, 2020
March 19, 2020

Today’s diverse workforce is made up of five generations:

  • Traditionalists – born before 1945
  • Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X – born between 1965 and 1976
  • Generation Y (Millennials) – born between 1977 and 1997
  • Generation Z – born after 1997

Much has been written about the differences between these generations: different communication styles, different work ethics, different technology skills, etc. However, I want to focus on the things that people of all generations have in common.

They want:

  • Fair pay 
  • Opportunities for career advancement
  • Pleasant work environments and co-workers
  • Job security
  • Trust in employer
  • Opportunities  to connect and be heard
  • Ability to make a difference in the world

Some things to remember when dealing with older employees:

  • Respect their experience – they can provide insight into why things are done a certain way.
  • Have patience when implementing changes – it takes time for anyone (regardless of age) to learn new tasks and methods.
  • Don’t assume they aren’t interested in learning new tasks – just because they are eligible to retire, it doesn’t mean they are ready to stop learning and growing.
  • Be flexible! – older employees may want to work a reduced schedule so that they can balance work with life (the traditional version of “work-life balance”).

Some things to remember when dealing with younger employees:

  • Treat them like adults – they want to be taken seriously and to learn and grow in their career.
  • Consider their ideas – just because they are the new kids on the block it doesn’t mean they might not have the next great idea or be able to introduce new ways to use technology to streamline and improve the work process.
  • Communicate task requirements – be clear about expectations and explain the “why” of how things should be done.
  • Don’t assume they understand – no one (regardless of age) likes to admit they don’t understand, so encourage them to ask for help when they hit a roadblock.
  • Be flexible! – younger employees have grown up in a technology-driven world that allows them to work anywhere and anytime; they want greater flexibility in their work schedule so that they can balance life with work (the new version of work-life balance).

Managing multiple generations in the workplace can be a real challenge. Your management style may need to adapt depending upon the generation of each employee who you supervise. Taking the time to understand employees’ needs and interests can pay off with a more productive workforce and less headaches for you!

An HR professional can help you with all of your human resources needs. From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.