Best Practices for Managing Intergenerational Issues in the Workplace

The generational diversity in the workplace continues to increase, from seasoned Baby Boomers with years of experience to fresh-faced Generation Z-ers who are constantly connected. Currently, businesses often employ people from each of these age groups and it’s no surprise that each generation has their own unique workplace style, needs, goals, and traits. 

Adapt Recruiting Strategies

To benefit from generational diversity, you must be able to recruit people across multiple generations. In job postings, there should be no age-discriminating formulations. The message should appeal to diverse candidates. Baby Boomers might positively react to mentions of your company’s successes while millennials are more likely to notice personal development opportunities and social responsibility. 

Distribute position vacancies via various channels, depending on where you can reach potential candidates easily. Research Baby Boomers through professional networks or referrals and Generation Z via interactive online campaigns.

Social media recruiting is a great tool, as it’s common across all generations. Encourage the candidates to share what they are looking for and what they expect, to make a more informed decision whether a candidate is the right fit. 

Avoid Stereotyping 

Stereotypes are not beneficial or productive in the workplace in any way. Take full advantage of your multigenerational workforce by avoiding assumptions or stereotyping based on age; rather, employees should be asked about individual preferences and working styles. A very common prejudice is that older people are not comfortable with technology, but that is not always the case. 

Instead of making assumptions, it’s best to open the lines of communication in order to help everyone work together more efficiently and improve employee engagement.

Customized Approach and Age Diversity  

Each employee is a unique individual with different preferences, goals, skills, weaknesses, and ways of communicating. Generalizing and treating everyone the same should be avoided. A custom approach should be taken with each employee. Tailored work styles will allow for improved working relationships and happier employees overall.

While Boomers may opt for phone calls, millennials prefer to communicate digitally through instant messaging and texting. The two younger generations are also more likely to enjoy working in a collaborative manner. Since each generation has different communication styles, adapting to the various communication styles with them can go a long way. 

Gen X employees may seek more autonomy, while Gen Z employees want immediate, bite-sized feedback on their performance. Refine your techniques for delivering feedback and apply them based on employee preferences to satisfy employees and make it easier to deliver effective, meaningful feedback.

An age-diverse project teams will allow for leveraging unique strengths of each generation and encourage team members to collaborate and build relationships with one another. 

Employee Retention Practices

To prevent the strain of employee turnover, develop an effective employee retention program to address some of the pain points that cause employees to run. Effective strategies for retaining top talent despite cross-generational conflict:

  • Fostering teamwork
  • Improving communication
  • Building a mentorship program 
  • Fostering a culture that celebrates collaboration
  • Keeping the lines of communication open
  • Tailoring your approach to each individual  

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