The workplace environment is constantly evolving, and today's workforce is tackling the challenge of managing 4 different generations under the same roof.
What are the implications?
Being raised in different times, each generation certainly has their unique value and culture. Without accommodations, your workplace can be demolished by conflicts and become a zoo that lacks harmony. It is important to get along with all your colleagues and create a cooperative working environment. Continue reading and learn how to work with different generations.
Which Generation are you?
Before diving into the lessons we prepared for you, refer to the chart below to find out which generation you belong to and see how others think of you.
Here are 6 tips for creating harmony in the workplace:
1. Be accommodating
Accommodate others to prevent conflicts.
Each generation has its preference and values. Older generations often appreciate a more laid-back working style and reduced hours because they have fewer responsibilities at home. On the other hand, Generation Xers face more pressure as they are responsible for caring for both elders and children alongside their work. For members of Generation Y, social life outside of work is just as important as their career. The key to working with other generations is to accept their values and preferences even if they are different from yours. Consider what experiences they might have and what their working styles are likely to be.
2. Understand other “languages”
Tailor your communication to suit the recipient appropriately.
Each generation has their preferred methods of communication, and strictly sticking to your own favored means of communication can turn others away. The boomers tend to use telephones or written communication, and members of Generation X and Y like to use emails and texts. Distinctively, Generation Z today prefers interactions on social media. Tailor your communication style towards different generations so it feels more natural working together.
3. Learn from others
Value and build on others' skills and experiences.
Older generations like the Boomers can pass on useful knowledge and information that they have accumulated during their many years at work. In return, Generation Y colleagues can help them get familiarized with recent innovations such as computer skills and digital marketing. Different generations have their own unique experiences to share. Try to focus on individual strengths rather than generational differences to thrive in the modern workplace.
4. Stop stereotyping
Fight your unconscious bias; accept others instead of assuming the worst.
It's easy to stereotype different groups. Using generational labels can put you at risk of alienating your colleagues. To Baby Boomers, Millennials may seem tech-obsessed. To Generation Z, Boomers may seem stubborn and outdated. While you are judging others, just remember that somebody else may be stereotyping you. You can change their perceptions by demonstrating a willingness to accept new ideas.
5. Seek similarities over differences
Focus on the things that unite you with colleagues rather than dwelling on the differences.
You and your colleagues might share more similarities than you think. Although there might be generations gaps between you and the older or younger generations, after all, you are all working towards the same sets of goals within a team and want to be respected. Try opening up your ideas and make friends with your colleagues regardless of their age.
6. Take your colleagues out for lunch
If all of the above doesn’t work as planned, let FOOD do its magic.
If you can’t find similarities between you and your colleagues, chances are, you all have a passion for food. Spark conversations that everyone can answer at the table: “Tell us something about yourself that others might not know.” “What’s your favorite dessert?” “What are you grateful for?” Make connections over food and the group will naturally become like an extended family.
Do you find these tips helpful?
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