For the first time in the history of the modern workforce, five different generations are working together. This trend has created a unique challenge for employers who must cater to the varying needs, viewpoints, and values of each generation. And since each generation has its own strengths and weaknesses, keeping everyone on board and productive is sometimes a daunting task. However, with the right strategies and approaches, it’s possible to create a multi-generational workplace that cultivates a sense of harmony, understanding, and productivity. In this blog, we will reveal some helpful tips and tricks for fostering a multi-generational workplace.

  1. Build A Culture of Empathy and Openness

One of the biggest barriers to a multi-generational workplace’s success is the lack of trust and understanding between generations. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and ultimately poor performance. To foster harmony among team members of different ages, you must create a culture of empathy and openness. That means creating a work environment where all generations feel welcomed and appreciated. Encourage open communication and ensure that both younger and older workers understand that their various perspectives are appreciated.

  1. Encourage Mentoring and Coaching

While younger generations have the innovation and advanced skills that come with modern-day schooling and experience, the elder generations contribute significant amounts of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. In many cases, such veterans have years of expertise in the working world that could benefit the younger generation greatly. Employers should encourage mentorship & coaching programs to ensure that the unique strength of every age group is curated for maximum positive output in the organization. These programs also go a long way in bridging any communication gaps that may exist between different generations. For more information on strategies to bridge generational divides at work, read this HBR article

  1. Create a Customized Work Environment

Different generations often have different work styles, preferences, and work values. Those who grew up in a different era from their younger counterparts sometimes lever at a more structured traditional work environment than their younger peers who typically prefer a more remote and collaborative work environment. As an employer, try opting for flexible work arrangements that cater to everyone’s work-style preferences, such as telecommuting options, mentorship programs, and facilitating team-building events to build cohesion among the team.

  1. Evaluate and Adjust Processes and Policies

Every organization has policies and procedures that guide work output, and these can differ from one generation to the next. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that policies and protocols are evaluated and adjusted to align with the values, goals, and preferences of all generations involved in the organization. Creating a committee that is represented by two members from each generation and setting up quarterly meetings will aid in reviewing and creating flexible policies that work for everyone in the organization.

  1. Workplace Education and Training

The multi-generational workplace environment can foster learning and development. Employers can offer customized training and skill-enhancing courses that cater to each age group’s needs to harness their full potential. With training, the older generations can learn the ropes of new-age technology, while the younger ones can gain insights into traditional business methodology. This way, everyone in the multi-generational setup can share their skills, learn from each other, and ultimately grow as an organization.

Fostering a multi-generational workplace environment can be challenging, but it’s worth the rewards of a highly effective and productive team in the end. Through creating a culture of empathy, coaching, and mentoring, offering a customized work environment, adjusting protocols, and emphasizing a learning environment, every generation in the organization can feel well represented, appreciated, and valued. Employers must actively encourage diversity and inclusiveness to create a sense of belonging and ultimately a highly successful and productive team. To learn more about how to foster multigenerational relationships in the workplace, check out this Forbes article.