Creating teams of individuals with different ages and experiences offers your company diverse viewpoints to create more inclusive products and ideas. However, hiring employees from different age groups can offer challenges, especially when it comes to building highly functioning teams. Here are ways to manage your team’s generational gap so your enterprise can thrive.
Be Aware of Biases
Millennials and Baby Boomers are all the rage these days. There is an abundance of articles and studies about how these generations “differ” from others. While the validity of the findings can vary, they do affect how people view others who are not a part of their perceived age group. Age-related bias can negatively impact your working environment. As a manager, you are responsible for being aware of this bias and mitigating it to have a productive work environment.
Generational gaps can create friction if team members have differing motivations, goals, and values when it comes to how each define what a successful work environment should look like. Younger team members may want your company to be more flexible when it comes to dress codes, work hours, and work/life balance. Older team members may want more structure and be more focused on retirement and health benefits. However, you cannot assume that each member of a generation has the same motivations. The best thing you can do is learn what is important to each individual team member and try to achieve compromises when goals differ.
Create Common Goals
One of the best ways to mitigate age bias and reduce friction over differing goals is encouraging team members to work together on common goals. Encourage cross-generational dialogue by partnering team members of different ages for projects, or create a mentorship program to encourage cooperation and communication across age divides. Individuals from different generations can mentor and learn from each other. In addition to removing bias on a smaller scale, work to build team-wide trust and unity by engaging in regular team building exercises. Improve communication by adapting to each person’s preferred communication style.
Diversity Is Great
Age is a key factor to having a truly diverse team. When hiring, remember that having a diverse team is crucial, especially when engaging with different ideas and skills. The oversight and vision each manager creates for their team ultimately determines how far the team can go. By creating an age-inclusive environment, managers create teams whose solutions fit a wider range of clients and customers, ultimately creating a more successful enterprise. To learn more about how age-diverse hiring can help you succeed, make an appointment with one of our business development specialists today.