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How to bridge the age gap in the workplace?

How to bridge the age gap in the workplace

Generation gap is not a new term.

The generation gap is the difference between the older generation and the younger generation in terms of outlook, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Today, every organization has both young and old working alongside. When an organization has a widespread multi-generational workforce, it means that the managers and team leaders ought to have more responsibility to make sure that there must be proper work collaboration among all employees irrespective of age and designation. In addition, the management must understand the needs of different age groups and must focus on the value they add.

When there is such a mix of age groups, the responsibility of creating a positive environment mostly falls on the senior management. Although the gap in generation has been prevalent throughout all periods of history, in recent years it has only become prevalent.

The following are the approaches from professionals on how to bridge the age gap in the workplace.

  • Have open communication

Experts say that proper communication is the key to bridge the age gap in the workplace. Skill development activities, team-building exercises, employees’ social and technical events, environmental sustainability, and CSR activities are some of the other approaches that bring the workforce from different generations together. The worst-case scenario is that there are many workplaces that are so dramatic and segmented to the point where people do not even know their colleagues.

  • Focus on similarities not on differences

The basic approach is to focus on similarities rather than differences between the different generations. Professionals say that core values are likely to resonate regardless of age, and focusing on them can promote open-mindedness and versatility within the culture of the company.

  • Create a Mentoring Platform

It is of paramount importance to encourage the creation of a strong mentoring platform for all employees and the promotion of cross-generational mentoring or reverse mentoring. Mentoring allows people to meet, gain direction and learn from other people’s experiences as well.

  • Request feedback

Employees can address the issue of age differences directly at work with their colleagues by asking the person for constructive advice on how to deal with the issue. For example, older workers who are unfamiliar with the new software that is understood by younger colleagues may agree that they have done the same tasks differently in past years but show interest in learning to keep up with modern technology.

In conclusion

Managing the workplace generation gap is about empowering and showing respect to your employees.

You are bound to run into scenarios where age gap has an impact on productivity, no matter how you cut it. You should take the time to welcome them instead of avoiding these types of situations. Use the tips presented above and things will start running much smoother.

"Once you understand any one generation's formative years, you can make sense of that generation's workplace values and beliefs, and the gaps between the generations then tend to shrink," says Chuck Underwood, Founder and President of The Generational Imperative, a Cincinnati-based consulting firm.

 

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