More Ways to Cope….. 5 Generations in the Workplace
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7. Open up the office. Millennials generally don’t work well under rigid management structure. They prefer open collaborations that allow employees to share information and for everybody to contribute to decision-making. Take advantage of the Millennials’ preference for teamwork and encourage more solidarity throughout the workplace.
8. Recognize good work. Recognition is most effective if the style and desires of the generation are acknowledged. What is inspiring to a Gen Xer might be boring to a Millennial. Everyone wants to be recognized for their good work. Figure out what works best for each group.
9. Accommodate personal employee needs when possible. Different generations will be in different stages of life and need some scheduling flexibility. Maintain parity so other employees don’t feel alienated. Boomers who are thinking of retirement, for example, may want to cut the number of hours they work in exchange for reduced pay. Gen Xers who need to leave work early to attend a parent/teacher function can agree to make up lost time at another date. Millennials may want to pursue another degree part time. Extend the same educational opportunities to other employees.
10. Give all employees a voice. Regardless of age and tenure, give all employees a forum in which to present ideas, concerns and complaints. Department heads can facilitate open communication throughout the office and set aside time to provide honest feedback.
11. Tailor communications to generational styles. Boomers may prefer to communicate by phone or in person. Millennials grew up being in constant communication with peers and coworkers so are accustomed to emailing, texting or sending instant messages.
12. Remember generational traits are not usually character issues like immaturity, laziness or intractability. Whereas Boomers may see a 60-hour work week as a prerequisite to achieving success, many hard-working Gen Xers and Millennials may prefer a more balanced life that includes reasonable working hours–with occasional bouts of overtime–and weekends off. They may voluntarily choose to make up the time in unstructured settings like working at home or in a coffee shop on weekends.
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