The Multi-Generational Workforce


There is no doubt that the number of generations in the workplace is growing. The age of retirement has increased, meaning that more older generations are staying in the workforce while younger generations enter it. This has become a dilemma for the heads of companies, as employees from each generation have different ways of working and different expectations from their job. CEOs are struggling with how to communicate with employees of different ages, how to address the mindsets of every generation, and what to do with varying ways that members of each generation work. Trying to keep track of what every generation wants, while also not cramming any one person into a generational stereotype, can cause more stress than it is worth. However, stress level all depends on how the head of a company is managing the generational situation. There are several tactics to employ in order to ensure that all of your employees are on the same page.

For example, any company that has different generations in the office should set up a mentorship program. Pair up younger, millennial employees with their older Baby Boomer or Generation X employees, and have them meet often to have an open dialogue about their work. Make sure that the younger employees feel as if they can go to their older mentor with questions and concerns about their work, and also ensure that your older employees are encouraged to ask their younger counterparts about new technology and for new perspectives.

Another thing to try is to make your office an open space. Generally, millennials do not like to be confined to cubicles, and prefer a more collaborative work environment. Opening up the office will not only appeal to millennials, but it will also encourage constant interaction between older and younger employees. This will give them more opportunities to get to know each other, to ask for advice, and to collaborate on work and projects.

Additionally, give all employees a choice of how they would like to communicate. Your millennial employees may prefer to be communicated with through an open work ‘chat’ application, for example, while older employees might want to be spoken to in person or over email. Make all these forms of communication an option for your employees so nobody feels like his or her generation is being brushed aside for another.

The above, and other tips from The Wall Street Journal, will provide you with a good foundation on which to build a good environment for employees of all ages. Following these tactics has the ability to minimize your levels of stress, and therefore allow you to focus more on moving your company forward.