A “one-size-fits-all” approach never works well. That’s especially true when your workforce has 20-somethings working alongside 60-somethings on the same team.
Older workers might have different approaches to their jobs than the younger ones, while those in the middle are juggling the responsibilities of work plus family obligations that can include their own multigenerational needs.
How do you manage your team as a team without creating friction?
Here are a few ideas to consider.
- Don’t buy in to stereotypes. Whatever you might have heard about millennials, throw it out the window. The same with members of the Baby Boom generation. Understand that your workers might expect you to have certain preconceived notions about their work ethic, priorities and dedication to their jobs, but do your best to show that you believe each employee is capable, competent and working as a method to provide for their lives outside of their 9-5. Try not to use broad-brush generalizations that categorize anyone, or any one age group, in a negative light and instead give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
- Eliminate biases in hiring and training practices. Building on that concept, don’t dismiss resumes or interviews based on a candidate’s age, or divide jobs based on someone’s appearance. The assumption that someone doesn’t have the knowledge based on their age is unfair and could leave you missing out on a creative thinker who brings new energy to your team; ruling someone out because of their advanced age means passing up on someone who has knowledge and skills it took time to gain.
- Encourage your employees to learn from each other. Everyone has something to teach and something to learn. Younger employees might be adept at explaining technology while older employees can guide younger ones on problem solving skills they’ve honed. Or maybe you’ll have an employee in the middle who can bring together the best of all age groups, combining creativity and ingenuity with tried-and-true methods to help everyone see new opportunities in established protocols.
- Be flexible. People at different stages of their career and lives have different needs, on and off the clock. Workers with young children might need to adjust their schedule from time to time for childcare or school meetings; older workers might need to shift their hours for appointments or because they know they’re more productive at certain times of day. If your company can accommodate flexible working arrangements, including working remotely, that can help everyone be more productive at a time that doesn’t distract from their other needs and obligations, reducing stress all around.
- Understand differences in communication styles. People who established their careers pre-pandemic are used to in-person meetings and conference calls, while those who are just starting out might be more comfortable with emails, texts and video discussions. Taking all that into consideration, determine the best way to make your whole team feel comfortable and productive while staying efficient and building relationships. Some meetings might really be better off replaced by emails, while some emails need to be meetings to avoid “reply all” chains that take over an entire afternoon.
There is great opportunity for growth and learning when your team is comprised of people from varying ages. There’s so much to learn and so much information to pass along!
If you’re looking to add to your team, call Davis Staffing. We have excellent candidates looking for new opportunities and they’re ready to bring their skills and knowledge with them. Call Davis Staffing today and let us introduce you.