How to Manage a Multigenerational Workplace

Square
Editorial Team

Many generations are working alongside each other. That makes today’s workforce more diverse than ever. Each generation brings unique strengths to the table. But managing their different styles can be challenging. You may have baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zers all working under the same roof. Knowing how to lead and motivate each generation is essential for your company’s success.

To manage a multigenerational workplace, check out these tips.

  • Understand generational differences. Try to understand common characteristics of each generation and their working-style differences. Here’s a quick breakdown:
  • Baby boomers (born 1946–1964): Work is fundamental to their identity. They’re hard-working, conservative, receptive to teamwork, and loyal to employers.
  • Generation X (born 1965–1980): Gen Xers like to try new things and often have many jobs and careers. They’re self-reliant, resourceful, and value work-life balance.
  • Millennials (born 1981–1996): Millennials are known for being tech savvy. They appreciate a team-oriented approach. They thrive on feedback, embrace diversity, and are adaptable to change.
  • Generation Z (born 1997–2012): Their working style is still emerging. But, based on market research, they’re expected to value face-to-face communication. They are also hard-working and entrepreneurial (and, of course, tech savvy).

Regardless of their generation, every employee has a distinct working style. But it’s important to have an understanding of generational tendencies. By doing this, you can leverage employee strengths and delegate tasks more effectively.

Set up cross-generational mentorships.
Each generation brings unique perspectives and experiences to the workplace. Pair employees from different generations so they can learn from each other and grow. Baby boomers and Gen Xers can provide insight on career growth to younger generations. Millennials and Gen Zers can share their technological know-how with older generations. These mentorships allow employees to act as mentors and mentees at the same time.

Use multichannel communication.
Every generation is different and there’s not a one-size-fits-all communication style. To communicate with each generation, tailor your message and delivery based on their preferences. Baby boomers tend to use one-on-one phone or face-to-face communication. Millennials are comfortable using interoffice chat tools. Adapting your communication method based on generational preferences can help keep employees engaged.

Make employee management easier.
There’s no question that managing a multigenerational workplace can be tricky. But if you follow these tips, you can lead multigenerational teams more effectively. And you can reap the benefits of a generationally diverse workplace.

And while you’re focused on the interpersonal aspect of team management, make sure you’re taking advantage of technology like Square Team Management to facilitate easier management of employee time and performance. Automating these tasks frees up time. Then you can focus on the human side of managing a multigenerational workplace.

The Square Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of business, for business owners. Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds and share a passion for providing information that helps businesses to start, run, and grow. The team is based in San Francisco, but has collaborators all over the country.