Organizations in the coming years are going to be managing teams made up of people from different generations at a single time. From groups of four to six generations, understanding multigenerational management is critical.
What is a multigenerational workforce? There are many different generations that make up the multigenerational workforce, such as traditionalists, the baby boomer generation, Generation X, the millennial generation, and Generation Z.
Who makes up the multigenerational workforce?
- Traditionalists: (also known as Veterans, the Silent Generation, and the Greatest Generation) have been climbing the corporate ladder within the same company for their entire career, although most are retired or work fewer hours
- Baby Boomers: might as well be known as “Workaholics” as they rejected and redefined traditional norms and values
- Generation X: are independent and skeptical, introduced a true work-life balance
- Millennials: (also known as Generation Y) crave new experiences, work best as a team, and require regular feedback
- Generation Z: digitally savvy and well-connected
With all that mind in mind, managing a multigenerational workforce comes with its own challenges but there are steps you can take to be successful. We compiled a list of tips for managing a multigenerational workforce that can lead to effective teamwork.
6 Tips to Successfully Manage a Multigenerational Workforce
1. Avoid stereotypes
As far as tips for managing a multigenerational workforce go, this one is just common sense. The best managers know not to play to stereotypes as that will only lead to resentment and hinders the company culture.
The best managers should dismiss stereotypes and just treat their employees as individuals. Look at their skill level, their willingness to learn, their work ethic, and how they interact with coworkers and customers.
Encourage your multigenerational workforce to combine their efforts as each team adds buckets of opportunity and experience to the company. By combining the efforts of your mixed-aged employees, you can deliver highly effective work to positively impact the bottom line.
“Each generation brings unique characteristics to the workforce, which should be embraced. Too often, managers see these differences as negatives, but building a team with diverse perspectives, insights, and strengths can only be positive, leading to improved products and service levels,” said Tim Hird, the executive director of Robert Half Management Resources
2. Be actively involved
Be engaged. The more engaged you are with your team, the better your team performs. So actively lead them by monitoring, engaging, motivating, challenging, and even disciplining.
All of this allows you to create trust and build a bond so that your employees can perform at their best, without disrupting the rest of the team. With this strategy, you may notice generational differences more easily. You’ll find younger employees, like Millennials and Generation Z, want a hands-on approach. While Baby boomers prefer to autonomy. However, remember that this might not necessarily be true for every single employee, therefore, pay attention to their individual needs.
3. Use the right tools
Effectively managing a multigenerational workforce requires you to rely on software solutions that suit everyone which is why many companies are switching to dedicated employee apps, like Connecteam. Employee apps allow you to heighten productivity, boost engagement and experience, reduce misunderstandings, track work hours, enhance compliance, streamline communication, and much more.
If you really want to learn more about choosing the right internal app to foster communication, our blog will help you get started.
Considering that the younger multigenerational workforce is quite tech-savvy and makeup over a third of the workforce, you really should be working at their level. However, even the older generation needs tools to work smarter and more efficiently.
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Connecteam is the employee app that connects everything a business needs from field to office, all in one place. In the click of a button, you can connect your staff, manage day-to-day operations, improve employee experience and engagement, and drive your business forward.
4. Avoid the one size fits all approach
Flexibility and embracing change is a key component of multigenerational management. There is no one size fits all approach. Get to know your team, what works and what doesn’t, their motivations, their learning styles, and so on. This way, you can adapt your own leadership style to match their needs so you can generate results.
Through annual reviews, held on a regular basis and not yearly, and small touch base sessions or surveys via an employee app, you can reach each team member to gain a stronger understanding of who they are.
5. Create a work-life balance
The Monday to Friday, 9-to-5, work shift is long becoming a thing of the past. People are embracing a work-life balance that embraces a flexible work schedule.
Employers are quickly recognizing that they need to change the work schedule to accommodate multigenerational needs. Considering how advanced technology is becoming, especially with employee apps, it’s easier to communicate and enhance productivity in real-time.
Additionally, employee apps offer time tracking and job scheduling while on-the-go. In a click, employees can clock in and managers can see the GPS timestamp of the team member to ensure no time theft occurred. Even the older generation will appreciate a better way to track their hours and ensure accurate payroll, long gone are the days of manual punch-in clocks and messy pen and paper time tracking.
6. Establish and foster communication
Effective internal communication helps move things along and is a great contributor to the bottom line. By knowing how to communicate with each generation, you can scale your business while growing your team.
The research shows that communicating with the many generations is a calculated effort but one that shouldn’t be overthought.
- Baby boomers tend are reserved
- Gen Xers are looking for a control-and-command style
- Millennials need a collaborative approach
- Gen Z appreciate regular, in-person interactions
Using technology, like Connecteam’s communication app, can help increase productivity across the board. Send surveys, start a live poll, start a one-on-one dialogue, share important information and announcements through targeted group updates, and more. Plus, you can allow for additional engagement through likes, comments, videos, GIFs, and more.
The Bottom Line on Managing a Multigenerational Workforce
The workforce has become multigenerational, due to fewer birth rates, a much longer life expectancy, improved working conditions, and technological advancements, employee longevity is on the rise.
As such, effective multigenerational management is not just a must but must also be engraved into the company policy and culture. Companies and managers must adapt to changing times to ensure employee satisfaction across the board.
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