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  • Jack Chan

How to Be a Long Term Employer of 5 Generations

If you've ever worked for a company, you'll know that this is real. There's almost always going to be a generation gap in every company. People of different ages working in the same place at the same time. It can be beneficial for the organisation when handled correctly. Otherwise, it'll give rise to many unwanted clashes.


That's just how it's going to be. When there's a problem, there's going to be a solution. The generation gap in the workplace should be managed in an organised way.



An insight into the generation gap in the workplace

You'll notice the generation gap through the difference of opinion between the employees. It's natural that people of different age groups have different skill sets and cognitive abilities. They also react differently in different situations.


Sometimes the variety of opinions and values can come together to make the company stronger and more productive. Sadly, that's not always the case. As the owner of a business, you must know how to keep a balance between these people of different age groups. You can ensure the success of your company by keeping your employees happy and satisfied.

• Consider every opinion valuable regardless of where it came from. Feedback can come from senior employees and juniors alike.

• Create an environment that makes your employees feel valued.

Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team. You'll start to see similarities and be able to designate tasks and distribute responsibilities based on their age group. After all, it's the shared experiences of a generation that shapes those abilities.


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Issues that arise due to generation gaps

The generation gap in the organisation can give rise to many issues and it's the responsibility of the employer to handle these problems.


• Understanding on different levels

People with different age groups have different levels of understanding of the same topic. They have different visions about life, and will observe things from different aspects. They have different experiences and are dealing with different phases of life. This is where communication breaks down, as they cannot understand what the other is trying to say. This can give rise to a lot of conflict in the workplace.


• Difference of energy

With youth comes energy and passion. As we begin to age, it's normal to prefer peaceful tranquility and a comfortable way of doing things. It comes as no surprise that the upbeat youngster will butt heads with the grumpy older workers on your team. The difference in energy that comes into a shared workspace can cause a lot of tension. Left unchecked, this behavior can turn your work culture toxic really quickly.


• Lack of communication

People of different age groups do not like to communicate with each other often. They prefer to mingle with people that understand them and that tends to be those that are in the same age group as them. This can give rise to misunderstandings and a lack of communication. Employees should be encouraged to keep communication open with each other and consider each other's ideas. This will keep the workplace environment healthy and productive. Lack of it and you'll see productivity tank really quickly.


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How to manage 5 generations in the workplace?

As a business owner, you have to take care of every employee no matter what age group they belong to. We will discuss some of the ways you can manage all five generations in the workplace together.


Before we begin, let's start by identifying the five types of generations that are present.

1. Generation Z (1997–2012)

2. Millennials (1981–1996)

3. Generation Xers (1965–1980)

4. Baby boomers (1946–1964)

5. Silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945)


All these generations have different priorities and visions. You have to develop different strategies to deal with all of the people in your organisation belonging to all these generations.


Flexibility

Keep your process flexible according to the requirements of all these generations. Responsibilities should be distributed according to each age group. Delegate according to their strengths and understand what their needs are.


Training

Provide training for your staff on different topics regularly. It should cover different aspects to help everyone from all the age groups to have a better understanding of each other. Training your staff can breed cooperation towards one another and can align them to your company goals, helping them better understand how everyone can contribute to the success of the business together.


Communication exercise

Such activities should be held to help your team learn to communicate better with each other. This can be very beneficial for all of your employees. Provide them on different occasions a reason to interact with each other and understand each generation's boundaries and limitations.


Use of technology

In today's world, technology is the necessity. Tell this to someone from Generation Z and they'll like the idea very much. After all, they're called the Technology generation for a reason. As for the rest, interest wanes as you go further down the line. Regardless, making technology a requirement is beneficial to everyone. This just means that you'll need to double down on providing training to help the earlier generations understand the importance of technology. Teach your employees to welcome new ideas and be flexible to change.


Distribution of responsibilities in a managed way

Take note of the different projects and responsibilities in the workplace. Find out who does what best and distribute the work accordingly. Distribute responsibilities according to the capability of your employees. At the same time, find work that can be done by employees from all generations collaboratively. This will bring them together and strengthen team dynamics.


Final Thoughts

The generation gap is a common problem in every organisation. It's your responsibility as the business owner to ensure company culture is maintained on a positive note. This can only be done successfully through performance tracking, communication and transparency.


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