In today’s workforce, there are a number of different generations of people working together. This type of work environment can be difficult to manage. As the leader of such a company, it is your job to make sure that you approach a multi-generational workforce with the right set of tools to form a comfortable work environment.
Most of the workforce that you while see in any industry is comprised of three different generations. Coming in as the oldest and most likely to retire are the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are people generally born around 1945 to 1959. Baby Boomers prefer to work a consistent Monday to Friday job from 9 am to 5 pm. Baby Boomers believe that time and hard work will get you to the top of a business and that you have to “pay your dues” to the company. Generation X workers are the next set of employees you will face in any given workplace. People who are Gen Xers are most likely born between 1961 and 1981. Gen Xers seek to make their time a top priority. They are eager to get out on the floor and work hard so they can enjoy their personal time away from work. Gen Xers see their personal time as their most valuable asset.
Last but not least are the Millennials, the youngest of the three groups. Millennials make up the majority of the workforce in today’s society. Baby Boomers are quickly retiring, and Millennials are lining up to replace them in the workforce. Although Millennials are the most prevalent in the workforce, leaders still have to consider policies, communication efforts, and job responsibilities for all generations.
A key component of being an effective leader in this kind of environment is to remain flexible for all of your employees. Avoid settling on one tactic for managing your employees. Each group will have different expectations for their workplace. Approach each problem with an individual’s perspective and always be open for constructive feedback.
Encourage your employees to mentor each other in different aspects of the job. One generation of workers may be more knowledgeable than the other. Millennials are generally more tech savvy and can teach Baby Boomers how to navigate through more difficult tasks when using different technologies. On the other side of the coin, Baby Boomers could give Gen Xers and Millennials advice about cost-effectiveness among many other subjects.