Embracing workplace diversity is an ever-increasing reality. There are many benefits for a company to employ people of various ages for each can bring something valid to the table.
It all begins at the top. Senior management can help set the tone for employees of different generations to work together productively.
If you’re an organizational leader, consider these tips when working with employees from different generations.
Respect is Essential
It doesn’t matter when you grew up or where you come from. Respect is crucial.
Someone from an older generation respecting someone from a younger generation shows that they are willing to accept alternative possibilities. The opposite of this shows that the younger employee can appreciate traditional values and ideas.
Focus on What’s Important
Even if everyone in the office is from a separate generation, this doesn’t mean that everyone can’t work together. A healthy office environment consists of communication, trust, flexibility, and other important aspects that help people feel comfortable and connected to the company.
Regardless of generation, the office environment benefits when there is a focus on collaboration and getting work done in a productive way. This boost creativity and is one of the biggest things to remember in workplace diversity.
Consider the Generational Traits
Every generation is going to have different traits that help to showcase their talents.
This doesn’t mean that all people from those generations have the same traits, but you may want to think about what the commonalities may be before you try working with people that are from a different generation than you.
For example, Baby Boomers tend to place a higher priority on work over home life while Generation X wants to make sure there is a balance. There simply are different values in these generations.
Make Differences a Positive Thing
There are plenty of ways that differences between two individuals or groups can be a good thing rather than a negative, especially in the workforce.
One generation may be able to mentor the next generation when working together. In addition to this, an older generation can give valuable advice when things within the business get tough that younger generations may not have considered.
There is always something that can be learned from people that grew up in a time other than your own, therefore, be sure to pay attention and learn at every given opportunity.
While you should consider the generational traits, as mentioned previously, don’t assume that everyone born within a set of years is going to be the same. In fact, it is often the opposite of this unless they are from very traditional periods.
A common misconception is that millennials, also called Generation Y, are lazy and don’t care about their jobs. This may be true of some millennials, but it is also true of some Boomers or Generation Xers.
Get Excited About Workplace Diversity
Although it may seem like it would be better to work in an environment where everyone thinks in similar ways, this is simply not true. This can actually result in very real problems that a lot of businesses suffer from, such as groupthink.
Working with others that may be older or younger is a great way to help yourself grow as a professional and to learn more about others in a way that you may not have had the chance to before.
Be sure to check out our blog to learn more about working with different generations.
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