Times have changed, and workplace culture has changed with it. In the past, it was common for two generations to be represented in the workplace. Now, we have a multi-generational workforce – with as many as five generations. Each generation has its own work styles, communication preferences, and unique experiences.
Millennials and Gen Z are shaking up the way companies work and communicate. Experts have predicted that by 2020, Millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce, while Gen Z will make up 24% – totaling 59% of the working population. In order to grow and survive long term, companies need to align their organizations with these new generations.
At the same time, it’s important to retain loyal employees who have decades of tried and true experience and have earned seniority in your organization. To integrate these diverse generations, you must create a culture of inclusion and respect for the multi-generational workforce.
Here are 8 strategies to help you unite the generations and create a cohesive workplace culture:
Understand the generational divide
Generational diversity gives companies an edge in the marketplace. By getting to know how each generation works and plays, you can grow and learn from each other. You can also expose each generation to new and different ideas and perspectives. That outlook and positive approach can also help your company create better relationships with your clients and prospects.
Value everyone’s opinions
Each generation has its wants and needs, and may value a different way of working. Baby Boomers tend to be workaholics and are intent on achieving personal gratification. Gen X responds well to straightforward communication and likes to work on their own terms. Millennials are the first global-centric generation and value inclusivity, diversity, and a purpose.
It doesn’t matter how old or young we are, we all want respect. Newcomers need to respect older generations who have seniority and experience. Older generations need to respect the talent and potential of the younger generations. The key to creating generational harmony is to understand and accept each other’s differences. Help motivate each generation based on their unique working styles.
The more people understand each other, the better they will work together. Encourage your multi-generational employees to get to know one another. Show them how to appreciate and recognize their differences and learn to find positive ways to work together. For example, have a team building session where you create teams with mixed generations and play games against each other.
Tailor your communication styles
Each generation has its own communication style. It can be difficult for everyone to come together in a workplace and collaborate effectively. Baby Boomers tend to use one-on-one, telephone, and written communications. GenX and Millinnials like to email and text. Gen Z prefers the collaboration and interaction of social media. Multiple channels, such as verbal, written, and digital communication, will allow all generations to interact together.
Older generations tend to crave stability and security over freedom and self-expression. Millennials tend to job-hop – seeking businesses with missions and cultures that align with their beliefs. You can find ways to build loyalty with each generation. Let the older generations know that you appreciate their loyalty and support of the company. Talk to Millennials regularly about what they need to help them feel valued and satisfied at work.
Learn from one another
A successful multi-generational workforce values and builds on each other’s skills and experiences. Boomers and Gen X can pass on knowledge, networks of contacts, and perspectives they have developed from years of work. Millennials can help older employees understand recent technology and innovations, such as social media and digital marketing.
Build a digital workplace
Fostering a digital workplace can be a great way to encourage your multi-generational workforce to communicate and collaborate more effectively. Your digital approach should be simple enough for older, less tech-savvy workers to use, but comprehensive enough to solve communication challenges.
New trends and technologies are emerging in digital apps and technology almost every day. Here are some of the mobile technology trends to watch for 2020.
Want to learn more about how the CatalystXL mobile app can help you unite your multi-generational workforce? We can launch a private-label mobile app in 2 hours with enterprise-class features and functionality, including Connected Workforce and Sales Empowerment. We can make it available in the Apple Store and Google Play in 48 hours.