Business owners in the US could potentially be working with a team that comprises four different generations. While individuals of all ages have different strengths and weaknesses, it can be particularly difficult to manage a group that spans the age spectrum. Leadership is not always a walk in the park, but there is a lot to be gained from taking steps to create a cohesive, collaborative team.
Employing staff across generations poses challenges for those in positions of authority, but it can also create incredible opportunities. In 2015, the average workforce in the US was made up of traditionalists (4%), baby boomers (31%), generation X (21%) and millennials (45%). Each generation boasts different characteristics, and the key for leaders is to find common ground, promote communication and facilitate learning.
One of the most significant differences in many industries is the use of technology. While younger employees tend to be very comfortable with new systems and technological innovations, baby boomers and traditionalists are used to more conventional techniques. There have also been major changes in workplace culture and schedules over the years, with more and more employers adopting more flexible models. Younger people are also more likely to consider self-employment. Over 25% of millennials are self-employed.
To lead a multi-generational team effectively, the infographic suggests a series of pointers, including encouraging team meetings and bonding activities, focusing on similar interests and strengths and promoting cross-generational mentoring and teaching. Over 90% of employees said that constructive feedback helps to improve personal performance.
Managing a team is never easy, but if you strike the right balance, the benefits of employing individuals from different generations will become apparent.
Infographic Design By Norwich University