This post, written by Megan Wilson and AkkenCloud.com, is a companion to the March 8, 2016 VoiceAmerica interview with Cam Marsden, Leveraging Generational Differences to Improve Organizational Success? If you have questions about working with a team that spans generations and producing a great work environment and exceptional results, this post and interview will help you enhance your approach.
Think about an interaction you’ve had with a younger person in your workplace. They may like to avoid face-to-face meetings and instead tell you about issues or solutions via social media or their smart devices. Older people, on the other hand, would prefer sitting down in a meeting with you and in fact may be adverse to these more impersonal interactions. That’s just one example of the wide range of personalities and preferences that you’re likely to find in a workplace. You may have people born in the 1920s and you may have people born in the late 1990s. They come to the workplace influenced by the world around them—technology, societal events, even what’s been happening in the economy. To learn more about generations at work, use this graphic.
The following image is intended to provide you with insight about some of the differences across generations and offer recommendations to leverage the strengths of each group. While we as humans are very complex beings that can’t be defined exclusively by age, gender or nationality, this type of information serves as a starting point in learning about our colleagues. While categorization can be dangerous if unexamined, it is a useful place to start building awareness and sensitivity to others. Beyond the general recommendations provided in this post, we recommend refining your approach by asking colleagues about their preferences where possible.
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