Currently, the labor force includes four generations of workers. This makes learning to manage a multigenerational workforce more critical than ever, especially if you want to create a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion.
When a workforce is united, it has the ability to be more successful. However, the different attributes associated with each generation can create a sense of inherent separation, and sound leadership is required to bridge any of the gaps.
If you want to manage your multigenerational workforce effectively, here are some tips to get you started.
Don’t Force Conformity
Each generation has its own preferences and expectations regarding the workplace. Their views were shaped by their life experiences, such as the shape of the economy during their childhood, and labor market conditions when they landed their first job. Often, their perspective is a substantial part of who they are, and it isn’t something that is likely to change.
If you try to force your employees to conform to a rigid culture or single management style, you will either be met with resistance or find it hard to hire and retain top talent from generations whose needs aren’t being addressed. Instead of attempting to make everyone fit into the same proverbial box, use a more flexible approach that supports workplace harmony.
Learn to recognize each group’s strengths and overall potential without assuming every member of a generation adheres to the stereotypes associated with their age group. Then, create adaptive mechanisms that give every employee a chance to be at their best in the workplace.
Have Varied Performance Management Styles
Members of the baby boomer generation typically have a strong understanding of hierarchical corporate structures. Additionally, they have grown accustomed to formal constructive feedback using traditional mechanisms, like performance reviews, and appreciate having their dedication and work ethic recognized.
However, members of generations X, Y, and Z aren’t as receptive to authoritarian leadership styles, leading them to receive less value from more formal performance management approaches. Instead, they prefer immediate feedback, both positive and negative, to let them know if they are headed in the right direction or need to make a change.
By adjusting your performance management style to the employee’s needs, you can increase the odds they will remain on track and improve in weak areas. When possible, combine both approaches to create a universal system that ensures formal reviews are properly documented and conducted, and that immediate concerns or moments that justify praise aren’t missed.
Ultimately, managing a multigenerational workforce doesn’t have to be a challenge. As long as you work to recognize the uniqueness of each part of your team and adjust your approach to ensure they can always be at their best, you can ensure that everyone’s needs are successfully addressed.
If you would like more tips for effectively managing a multigenerational workforce, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our workforce management expertise can benefit you.