How to manage multigenerational teams?
In today’s workplace, you’ll find employees who are born well after 70 and fresh graduates who are as young as 20 years. This means your teams may comprise five generations: Silent Generation (traditionalists), Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. Professionals in each of these five generations have their unique work styles, expectations, motivations, approaches, and experiences. As a manager, you must come up with creative ways to leverage these substantial differences to build high-performing, diverse teams, and manage them effectively. This article will take you through 7 tips for managing multigenerational teams.
Train your teams
Training your employees is the most effective way to enhance understanding and collaboration among different generations. So, regularly organize training sessions where team members can learn the different styles, characters, and strengths of each generation. This training on generational viewpoints, inspirations, and concerns will go a long way in enhancing intergenerational understanding, collaboration, and productivity. On top of that, it can minimize age discrimination and reduce potential “brain drain” as older team members move to other companies where they’re respected and valued.
Offer feedback regularly
While Millennials have been recognized as a generation requiring more feedback, this multigenerational team management tip shouldn’t be applied to them only. All your employees should get specific, helpful feedback regularly. That way, they’ll change behavior, overcome challenges, and accomplish their goals.
Avoid stereotypes and age bias
When dealing with multigenerational teams, it’s easy to judge team members based on certain pre-existing stereotypes. For instance, older generations may think of younger generations as poor in people skills or obsessed with technology. Younger generations, on the other hand, may think of their older counterparts as inflexible technophobes. Rather than stereotyping your team members, take your time to get to know each one of them. Learning more about them and understanding their needs will help fight off any unconscious bias.
Provide flexible solutions to different needs
Providing flexible work hours, remote working options, or a variety of unique workspaces will enable team members to choose the work style that fits their needs satisfactorily. Flexible work schedules will help those starting families to find a healthy work/life balance and those retiring to transition into retirement with ease. Offering opportunities for both personal and professional development is a fantastic way to address a wide array of employee needs.
Set precise, achievable goals and expectations
Clear goals and expectations offer your teams a sense of direction. They help measure the performance of each team member and the entire team. They also help you determine whether you’re moving towards your company’s vision or you’re just stagnating or worse yet, taking steps back. So, ensure you have well defined, achievable, and measurable goals. Also, ensure each team member knows their responsibilities and criteria that’ll be used to measure their performance.
Invest in the right tools
To manage multigenerational teams effectively, you must use the right software solutions that meet the unique needs of each employee. Investing in reliable software solutions can help improve productivity, enhance engagement and experience, cut confusions and conflicts, monitor work hours, increase compliance, and improve communication among other things. Consider the needs of your business and your teams before choosing any software solution. Ensure it’s also cost-effective, easy to implement, and user-friendly.
Bonus Tip: Your employees may interact with all kinds of files while working. So, ensure they have all the necessary tools they need to extract and open different types of files. For instance, when dealing with word docs it’s always best to convert to pdf before sharing.
Foster cross-generational mentoring
Develop and implement a reciprocal mentoring program that facilitates meaningful learning across different generations. For instance, younger team members can train older ones on the best ways to use social media channels for communication and driving business results. In turn, older employees can equip younger ones with the social skills required to cultivate meaningful connections with partners inside and outside the business. On top of that, senior and highly experienced team members can also transfer institutional knowledge to the younger ones.
The Parting shot
If you want to manage multigenerational teams effectively, then you must pay attention to the substantial generational differences. You must also host multi-generational training sessions regularly to facilitate intergenerational understanding as well as multigenerational collaboration. Get to know your employees first to overcome your unconscious bias and stereotypes.