As noted in earlier blogs this month, employing various generations of workers can cause conflicts between individual workers and departments. However, companies that build a positive company culture of learning and respect can overcome these challenges, boost morale and improve employee engagement across generations. Consider some of these recommendations to build a company culture that not only respects generational differences, but benefits from the multigenerational dynamic.
Make sure when you are hiring new employees that you consider their cultural fit, and make sure departments are staffed with all age ranges, races, genders, etc. Job specific skills can be taught, but it is much harder to change personalities to make them fit in with a specific company culture.
If you are hiring more than one employee at a time, find ways to encourage them to bond (in orientation meetings, at new hire mixers, etc.) This will give new employees support as they travel the “new hire road" together. This will also support multigenerational understanding if the new hires are of various generations.
Plan events on a regular basis to bring employees together from across the company. Consider some of the team building activities noted in last month’s blogs to bond employees young and old. However, the most important benefit of a multigenerational workforce is that everyone brings their own perspective and background to the table. A multigenerational workforce is truly powerful when each individual brings their best self forward and doesn’t feel a need to conform. That means acknowledging differences rather than shying away from them.
We have mentioned this in previous blog articles. It is a great way for older employees to pass along corporate tribal knowledge, while bonding with younger generations one-on-one. However, companies should also practice some Reverse Mentoring. This is where younger employees teach older workers about technology, social media and other newer trends in the marketplace. This allows younger employees to also feel valued, and encourages even further collaboration and communication across generations.
By creating an environment in which all employees are respected, feel free to be themselves, and contribute their unique skills, you are creating a company that will outperform its competitors in the long run and be a place employees want to come to each day.
Ann Condon has been with Dion for 17 years, working in Dion’s Marketing and Business Development Department. Although this was her first position with a jewelry manufacturer, she has learned a lot over the years. Ann enjoys getting involved in “All Things Dion” from volunteering at the Dion Golf Tournament to being a part of the Dion Diamonds Relay for Life Team. She has quite a number of Dion event t-shirts to show for it!
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