In a couple of years from now we will witness 5 different generations working together in various companies.
With the youngest Generation Z graduates coming fresh out of college, the circle will be complete and there will be more diversity within the workplace.
Still, the millennial generation has gotten a lot of hype around it, as it was the first internet-savvy generation that could bring new things to the table.
However, the years of millennials being the only generation that could handle certain types of tasks and think more creatively have passed. Even the older generations are looking to improve their skills.
On top of that, all organizations are looking for a diverse workforce with different skill sets, as these kinds of groups have the ability to adjust to any situation.
Apart from millennials, the most dominant generations in the workplace will be the Generation Z and X. However, attracting talent from these generations is slightly different and you need to adjust your approach.
Stop talking about millennials
The first thing every organization needs to do is to stop talking about millennials if they want to have diversity. Seriously, hiring millennials and talking about them has been a trend for so long that it seems at times like there are no other people out there in the job market.
This is borderline discrimination if you ask me, and other generations look at it the same way.
It seems like other generations aren’t able to do anything properly and that only millennials are capable of fulfilling the job requirements set today. Companies that want diversity in their ranks need to stop this narrative and even completely get rid of the generation talk altogether. This is how they will naturally attract people of various ages.
Being vocal about millennials will simply send the message that you are only interested in this generation and other people will feel like they are not wanted. They won’t even bother to apply for a job if they know what your brand’s stance is on new hires.
Why a workforce of mixed generations is desirable
Having a workforce of mixed generations can bring many good things to your organization. First of all, putting together multiple generations will give them an amazing opportunity to learn from each other.
They will share their ideas, thought processes, and perspectives that can help them grow as employees as well as people.
For example, since millennials use digital technology naturally, in most cases they are better rounded when it comes to these kinds of tasks.
They can be of great help to both their older gen-x and younger gen-z colleagues. Although this might be the case with digital technology, the gen-x can help millennials in other aspects of work.
They can transfer the business experience and intuition to the younger generations and teach them the things that go beyond technology and trends.
Since we are talking about trends, the youngest gen-z will bring fresh trends to your organization and tell their senior colleagues about the latest trends and update them on the things that they haven’t followed up on.
How to approach Gen-X?
The Gen-X is a generation that has a lot of pragmatism and they are focused on getting results. During an interview, when you show a mission statement to them, you can expect an answer that goes something like “OK, so what can I do to help?”
They want a quick and open conversation without much beating around the bush – simply tell them what you need from them and they will respect you for that.
They don’t need feedback on everything they do, if they want it, they will ask you for it. This generation relies on facts and they want to know all the good and bad, so lay it all on the table in front of them.
Don’t try to win them over with unnecessary praise, they want to know what you like about them but won’t buy into the story that they are perfect.
They are the first generation that started “thinking outside the box” and the only thing they want to hear are your clear expectations and they will be honest about whether they can meet them.
How to approach Gen-Z?
The first important thing you probably already know about the “Zers” is that they are technology inclined, which is not a surprise at all, considering that they don’t know of a world without smartphones, tablets, gadgets, and the internet.
This means that they will likely go with a job where they have various technology at their disposal.
They like to do their jobs and use devices that they are used to using in their private life. At the same time, they have been using the internet since they were born. They have grown their curiosity and like to educate themselves – they want to work at a place where they can learn new things and step into something unknown and exciting.
The gen-z also believe that their actions have a purpose and they want to feel that they can contribute something positive to the world. They are not just about getting great money and having all the work benefits, they want to believe in their work.
How to bridge the generational gap?
Although having a multigenerational workforce has many benefits and they can all learn from each other, there are also some potential pitfalls that need to be avoided.
Different values, work ethics, and approaches to problems can cause a conflict that might reflect negatively on the organization. This is why it’s important to adjust your approach and manage them properly.
As always, proper communication is essential. Communicate to each generation according to their preferred method. When you need to address the whole team, make sure to find a middle ground where they can all be satisfied.
To avoid making the differences within your workplace obvious, simply focus on the similarities that all of your employees share.
When you establish a culture where everyone cherishes what is mutual to them, they won’t have time to focus on their differences and completely forget about them.
At the same time, create an open culture within your business where stereotyping is not allowed. This is how employees will be open to collaborating and learning from each other.
Having a diverse workforce can bring many benefits to your business. Still, you need to manage your employees properly and work hard on establishing a proper team where age doesn’t matter.