In today’s workplace, you will find employees who have been born after the 70s and new graduates who are in their 20s. It means that your team consists of three generations- Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
Each of these generations of professionals has its own unique work styles, expectations, motivations, attitudes, and experiences.
As a manager, you will need team management software to build high-performing and diverse teams, and manage them effectively. It is a platform that helps a team to collaborate, communicate, and manage a team and all their tasks effectively.
Now, let’s see how you can keep a multi-generational team collaborative, effective, and productive. But, before moving forward, let’s understand the concept of various generations ranging from pre-boomers to Generation Z.
Categorization of Generations
To better understand the different generations you have in your team, you can familiarize yourself with the classification, which is commonly used to define specific age groups:
· Pre-Boomers: People who have been born between 1925 and 1945.
· Baby Boomers: People who have born between 1946 and 1964.
· Generation X: People who have been born between 1965 and 1976.
· Generation Y: Also known as the Millennials, these are people who have been born between 1977 and 1994
· Generation Z: People who have born between 1995 and 2010.
This classification is based on the specific circumstances that have shaped the life path of people within a generation. But in this article, we will focus on keeping a multi-generational team highly effective and collaborative. We will keep their career expectations, goals, and attitudes as a base for our discussion.
Tips to Keep Your Team Collaborative and Productive
1. Train your employees:
Training your employees is the most effective way to increase understanding and collaboration among the different generations. Hold regular training sessions where team members of all generations can learn the different styles, characters, and strengths. This training on generational attitudes, motivations, and concerns will go a long way in enhancing inter-generational understanding, collaboration, and productivity. Simply put, professional training can keep your team members on the same page irrespective of their generations. Most importantly, it will reduce age discrimination and help retain older team members with the company because they love to stay where they’re respected and valued.
2. Stay neutral:
While managing multi-generational teams, you have to ensure that no one feels discriminated against just because they belong to a specific age group. For example, Generation X people are more conscious about their age and any remarks related to their age can hurt them. On the other hand, Generation Z people are carefree and easy-going. It is necessary to keep the balance between these two generations.
But sometimes you may do this unintentionally. For example, you took some people out of workgroups or sub-teams for some reason, but they may think you did it because of their age. Therefore, to avoid these misunderstandings, it is essential that you clearly state the reasons for your decisions and remain neutral for all the team members.
3. Take their differences in a positive way:
Managers must know how to get the most out of all generations in their team. For this, they have to first accept the differences between them and understand that their inequalities can produce a great result rather than a wrong one. And they also need to keep in mind that everyone in their team wants to feel valued and help the company succeed. This similarity will help lay a strong foundation for building relationships in your team and enhance collaboration that ultimately improves the employee’s efficiency and productivity.
4. Communication is a must:
Proper and real-time communication is at the core of every successful business or team. For multi-generational teams, it is even more important to have as many lines of communication open as possible to avoid misunderstanding. As a team leader or manager, you also need to make sure that your team members feel that they can talk to you without any hesitation. Encourage them to talk to you and hold one-on-one sessions to make sure people aren’t sitting on something that could alienate them from the team. These days, robust team management software can enable users to chat with colleagues in real-time and share the necessary data instantly.
In COVID-19, you should aim to have your multi-generational team in the same office so that they can interact face-to-face. Informal communication that takes place in this kind of environment will do much more to strengthen the team than any formal action you can take. In the case of WFH or remote working, it is better to stay connected to your team members during working hours.
5. Communicate in different methods:
Managers need to know that one communication style will not work for all generations. And for this reason, managers should use different modes of communication to reach each generation and convey the message as often as possible. It helps to break down communication barriers and better understand generational differences.
6. Set precise, achievable goals, and expectations:
Clear goals and expectations give your team a sense of direction and help team members measure their performances. Make sure you have well-defined, achievable, and measurable goals. Also, make sure each member of the team knows their responsibilities and criteria that can be used to measure their performance.
7. Provide multiple learning opportunities:
The importance of learning new skills and expanding knowledge is one of those rare things that all generations will agree that they are important in the workplace. But you should know that different generations prefer different ways of learning.
For example, older generations may prefer to take a professional training from the experts’ holding classes and workshops. The younger generation will lean more towards web-based learning and conduct their own research. All these learning options will prove to be more effective than focusing on just one. Sure, it may require more effort, but it will also show them that they all have their own distinct identity and no one is favored there.