A varied workforce fosters growth and innovation. Baby boomers, millennials, and members of Generation X and Z all bring unique perspectives to the table. Increasingly, workplaces have a wide range of ages working on the same team. Read on to learn how to develop a company culture that welcomes all generations.
Incorporate Technology Education
Technology plays an ever-growing role in business across virtually every industry. Most young professionals grew up with computers, and many have been tapping away at their smartphones and tablets since pre-adolescence. These employees can dive right in to most workplace technology and quickly pick up on new apps, software and devices introduced into the job. On the flip side, baby boomers and older professionals may shy away from new technology. They grew up primarily with pen and paper and may be less comfortable in learning how to use new tools. A helpful approach is to incorporate new technology through educational programs while providing ongoing support. Presenting technology as a win-win that benefits all employees, making their work easier and more efficient encourages buy-in.
Rethink Your Company Culture
The business world is constantly evolving, and savvy companies must adapt in order to thrive. New technology, trends, lifestyles, and socioeconomic changes make today’s operations much different from those of a decade or even a year ago. For example, older employees may value more personal interaction on the job while younger employees are friendly but frown on work conversation getting too personal. Solicit feedback from all of your team members about what’s working and what isn’t working. By continually communicating your vision and keeping all your employees in the loop, you’ll create a sense of unity across all generations.
While each generation, broadly speaking, has different strengths and weaknesses, each individual has unique skills and ideas. Rather than label employees by their age group, examine individual skill sets and promote comprehensive opportunities for learning. Set up mentorship programs across departments to cross-train your employees, create a sense of unity, and get everyone up to speed on the latest tools and technology. Younger employees will gain the insight they need to move up in their careers, while more experienced employees can diversify their skills and pass down their wisdom. It all adds up to a welcoming company culture for all.
Offer a Variety of Employee Rewards
The nature of work has changed dramatically. Baby boomers tend to value traditional rewards like bonuses and vacation days, while younger generations appreciate flexibility like job sharing, and having new opportunities to further their career. A one-size-fits-all reward structure may appeal to some, but will alienate others. Diversification is key. From compensation to achievement rewards, your business should try to offer a variety of options that cater to individual preferences.
By fostering mutual respect, recognizing individual differences, and creating a rewarding environment, you can create a company culture that resonates with employees of all ages. And happy, fulfilled employees are the backbone of successful businesses