Bridging an age gap might not seem like it should be a priority for your company, but the truth is that it absolutely should for several reasons. First, technology has evolved so rapidly that people are communicating differently than they were in years past. Now people use text, Voxer, Google Docs, and Slack nowadays, which is much different than phone calls, emailing, and in-person meetings. Also, factions in the workplace are never a good idea—it might encourage competition, but not in the right way. Instead, it has the potential for divisiveness and in-fighting.
Here’s how to bridge the age gap in your office.
The first step in solving almost any problem in the workplace is better training. An age gap probably means that your older employees have a lot more experience, knowledge, and wisdom than the younger so you can capitalize on that. Use those Baby Boomers to provide instruction to the GenYers and Millennials.
Focus on similarities
Yes, different generations are different, but let’s celebrate the similarities instead so we can make connections across age groups. Connections and solid relationships can foster a sense of open-mindedness and flexibility in your company culture. Instead of shutting down an idea brought about by someone in a different generation just for that reason, your team will consider each opinion and viewpoint fairly.
Be open and transparent
Though you might have to adjust your communication methods to accommodate all age groups, the most important thing is that you focus on being open, honest, and transparent. Millennials are used to using screens and devices, so you might have to train them in direct conversation in live meetings or even phone calls. Use teambuilding activities and social events to encourage relationships and communication.
Create a culture of respect
Remind your employees that everyone in your company has something to offer and should be respected. The older generations are seasoned experts that we can all learn from, and the younger employees can share innovation, technological expertise, and a fresh set of eyes that are untainted by the old status quo.
An active mentoring program can encourage relationships across generations. Given that everyone has something to offer, you can switch up the focus of each partnered mentorship. Older employees can help integrate the newer ones in your company’s culture, while newer ones can help an older employee learn how to optimize their use of new software and apps.
Make clear expectations
Establish clear roles and expectations for each position so that people can collaborate with and learn from one another without feeling like their toes are being stepped on, or they’re being disrespected. Anything you can do to encourage connections and teamwork will prevent those divisive factions from forming.
For more tips on creating a company culture that nurtures respect, connection, and collaboration so you can maximize your team’s ability to work productively and efficiently, contact our team today.