Leading a multigenerational workforce can be very rewarding. This is an opportunity to help employees from different age groups pass knowledge on to one another — along with learning a few lessons yourself.
While every person doesn’t adhere to norms from their generation, certain behaviors define each age group. As the boss, you need to be aware of these actions, so you can understand and embrace them.
4 Common Generational Differences in the Workplace
Knowing employees’ desired communication method is crucial for every manager. It’s easy for words to become lost in translation if you constantly try to reach people through a medium they’re not comfortable with or just plain dislike. Baby boomers — born between 1944 and 1964 — traditionally prefer face-to-face communication. Conversely, Generation X — born between 1965 to 1979 — and millennials — born between 1980 and 1994 — would rather receive an email than have an in-person chat.
Generally speaking, each generation has a preferred way to work. This is important, because you want to assign work in a manner that will lead to the highest level of productivity. Baby boomers and Generation X tend to favor individual assignments, while millennials enjoy group work.
Since millennials grew up with technology, it’s not surprising they’re the generation with the sharpest tech skills. Generation X can also hold their own, as their ability to adapt well to change has made it easy for them to assimilate to new technologies as they become available. Not surprisingly, baby boomers are known as the least tech-savvy group, but of course, skill levels vary drastically.
Every generation enjoys praise from the boss, but some need feedback more than others. Traditionally, baby boomers are happy receiving formal feedback once per year during their annual reviews. Generation X enjoys prefers to hear from you at regular intervals and millennials crave constant critiques of their work.
Managing a diverse group of people can be challenging. If you need more time to focus on your team, ECS can take a few tasks off your plate. Contact us today to learn about the full suite of services we offer recruiters and employers!