Managing Age Differences in the Workplace – 2

Cont… On the website “The Grindstone,” contributor Meredith Lepore offers more insight into generational differences in the workplace. Lepore points out that Baby Boomers believe in putting in long hours and are competitive; Generation Xers value autonomy and independence; Millennials or Generation Y employees are keyed into collaborative work and communication. Lepore spoke to organizational expert Jessie Newburn who added that Boomers respond to authentic mission statements and the big picture; GenXers are result-oriented in terms of the present; and Millennials value innovative and new solutions. Do you know how to create engagement in all of your workers?

How do you best manage diverse generations of employees? Awareness of your own values and that of others is important. So, too, is helping workers to appreciate and recognize the contributions of different generations. I suggest individualizing your management practices and avoiding blanket policies, offering flexibility in terms of work-life balance, and promoting connection and sharing between different generations of workers.

Managing Age Differences in the Workplace

To individualize management policies concerning values, consider offering options when it comes to work-life balance. Some employees may want educational support, others a flexible work schedule. What kinds of leave do you offer your employees surrounding health and family matters? Outside training and education? Are there different ways for employees to put in hours? How do you balance hours put in versus results? Short-term versus long-term? Do you offer a variety of training methods for employees to choose from? Some workers may value a hands-on approach, others a classroom experience and still others, independent online tutorials.

Help your employees to connect, no matter their differences, so that they can learn from each other. Build social events into your workplace, encourage information and insight-sharing, and construct generationally-diverse project teams. This can help employees better understand each other. Consider diversity training programs to build cohesiveness among your workers.

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