Leading Intergenerational Teams

1718 words 7 pages
Leading Intergenerational Teams

Workspace demographics now span four generations. A twenty-something hired this year can expect to find that they working with colleagues who are older than they are by fifty or more years. The reason for this is primarily due to labor shortages for trained personnel in many industries. In addition, many older workers are now delaying retirement due for economic or other reasons. Many of the baby boomer generation can now be expected to delay retirement into their seventies. (Randstad USA)

As you will learn, an inter-generational workforce provides many opportunities and challenges. While generational differences can and do lead to frustration, conflicts and poor morale, they do not have to. This
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(Raines, 2003)

Communicate Appropriately with each Generation

How you communicate is as important as what you communicate. When dealing with the different generations, remember these guidelines.

Words and tone of voice are important to the Silent Generation. Make sure you use good grammar and a respectful tone with clear diction. Relate your professional communications to the company history and long term goals.

The Baby Boomer conversation should be more relational. Be sure to ask about mutual interests outside of the workplace. Link the message to the person’s individual vision, mission and values.

Don’t waste a Generation Xer’s time. They will appreciate direct and straightforward conversation. Avoid jargon and corporate-speak. Utilize technology (e-mail, text, voice mail) to leave clearly stated communications that specify the need, timing and value of the request.
(Armour, 2005)
The Millennial will respond best to a positive attitude. Link the message to their personal or team goals. Do not be condescending, cynical or sarcastic .

(Raines, 2003)

Best Practices for Dealing with Different Generations in the workforce

A study commissioned by the AARP of several North American companies that were rated among the best places for older workers shows that companies who embrace and actively pursue policies to enhance inter-generational workforce reap the rewards. According