Managing a Multigenerational Workplace

By Shannon Far, Writing Intern

Every workplace is different. Some places require business formal dress every day, while others rely heavily on being an online business, while others still are trying their hardest to market to as many people as possible.

Some of the biggest conversations in business revolve around this idea of a generational gap and how to handle a multigenerational workplace.

What is a multigenerational workplace?

Basically, a multigenerational workplace involves a mixture of people from each of the various generations. These generations in the workplace now include the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, the Millennials, and now the older members of Generation Z.

How do you manage a multigenerational workplace?

Typically, having employees with such a wide age-range would be considered a positive, especially since it points to differing levels of experience and expertise. But how do managers handle a set of employees with such different learning and working styles?

One of the biggest trials of managing a multigenerational workforce involves overcoming the stereotypes that everyone has developed. The younger generations may view the older generations as out-of-date; whereas, the older generations may view their younger co-workers as entitled and lazy.

To overcome this, it is important to help each generation learn about the others. The best way to overcome stereotypes is to disprove them. Create a working environment where the older generations are working side-by-side with the younger generations. Try to get everyone involved with the project. This will allow each generation and each work-style to see how the others work.

The key to success

Within any workplace, it is important to stress the company culture. If you are managing a multigenerational workplace, do not hesitate to highlight that. It is an excellent way to mix old strategies and ideas with the newer technologies and work styles.

Flexibility is always the key to success and this is never truer than in a multigenerational workplace. Working in a multigenerational workplace should not be a hindrance. Instead, it should be one of the highlights of your company’s culture.

While working in a multigenerational workplace can be stressful, it is also the perfect place for your company to flourish. It is important to be flexible and to make sure that each and every one of your employees recognizes the other generations and their contributions to the company’s success.

Do you work in a multigenerational workplace? How do you use that to your advantage?