3 Ways to Develop Generational Cohesion in Your Company

As business leaders, you have likely read many different descriptions, characteristics and motivations of the generations in the current workforce.

  • Generation Z (2001–2020)
  • Millennials (1981–2000)
  • Generation Xers (1965–1980)
  • Baby boomers (1946–1964)
  • Traditionalist (born between 1928 and 1945)

Many find it amusing to poke fun at each generation, but what is more useful is to address the communication and collaboration challenges that will always exist across generations. Here are a few proven tactics to try.

1. Teaching Tech

Ongoing updating and enhancing your office technology is necessary. You need to meet the needs of Millennials without overwhelming or alienating other employees. Have your vendors offer in-office or live video training. Be sensitive to the needs of specific workers who may want to ask questions but don’t want to be embarrassed. Offer different training time slots so that the employees that may be more tech-challenged can be in the same learning session. You can also try to have your techie (a.k.a. younger) employees coach those that may need help.

2. Sharing Knowledge

Demonstrate that every employee has something to teach and something to learn. In one company, I arranged monthly TED-like short talks and presentations. As needed, I helped each employee who presented to develop their topic and reviewed their presentation.

The content wasn’t always business-related. I sprinkled in external speakers of different ages, different ethnicities and different nationalities. It was a huge success and has become a quarterly event.

The collective sharing of expertise and passions revealed the wealth of knowledge that surrounded them. It also provided helpful context for how or when to approach colleagues for help or collaboration on a project.

3. Flattening Hierarchy

 Creating a corporate structure that enables seamless idea exchange is attractive to talent and necessary for today’s organization to remain relevant.

Flatter hierarchies encourage all employees to voice their opinions and ideas via collaboration and ownership. To get the most out of generational diversity, each generation (no matter one’s rank or role in the organization) should lead. A flatter hierarchy builds trust across generations and creates transparency that enables each generation to understand and value their colleagues’ contributions.

Generating Power with Generations

The very tensions across generations represent ripe opportunities for generational teaming and collaboration. Reach out to SoteriaHR here for help to optimize your workforce.


Sources:

  1. https://www.purdueglobal.edu/education-partnerships/generational-workforce-differences-infographic/
  2. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/rethinking-hierarchy-workplace
Cana Tighe