Everyone these days seems to be talking about millennials in the workplace. Business leaders worry about how to best engage them, meet their career aspirations and provide them with the perfect environment in which to work. And these are all valid concerns.
Of course, today’s workforce is made up of members of more than one generation. In fact, it’s very diverse when it comes to age differences. Most organizations employ members of four generations, each one shaped by its own unique circumstances and experiences. And successful organizations are those that take advantage of each group’s strengths in order to drive growth and productivity.
I’ve been asked by many business leaders if workers are different from one generation to the next. Does age diversity matter in today’s workforce?
Of course, my answer is yes – age diversity does matter as long as organizations are taking advantage of the talents, experience and strengths each individual of their workforce has to offer.
Here’s what I mean: age stereotyping and overgeneralization about people groups cause more harm than good in the workplace. It forces people to focus on differences, rather than similarities and common ground upon which to build. Did you know that recent research found key multiple age groups share the same views in terms of motivation and values? This is the type of information we should be looking for and taking advantage of when we train and develop the workforce.
Organizations must implement practices that promote collaboration across the different age groups in order to maximize the potential of their workforces. A best-in-class development program in this area will be able to:
- Challenge harmful stereotypes and learn to treat everyone as an individual.
- Find common ground by connecting on an individual level with their peers.
- Look for and celebrate the talents in everyone and learn how to take advantage of those skills at work.
- Partner across generational lines.
- Challenge themselves to learn and grow in this area in order to increase production.
So, if you’re ready to debunk the myths about generational differences so you can get the most out of your workforce, check out Generations in the Workplace: Leveraging Age Diversity, a 3.5-hour program designed to teach the principles that will promote collaboration and help eliminate generational conflict in the workplace. When your employees start thinking about similarities rather than differences, your business benefits. It’s as simple as that.