Cultivating a Healthy Cross-Generational Company Culture
Mar 29, 2023 · 8 mins read ·Company Culture
Today's workforces in many modern businesses span several generations.
Each group has its habits, techniques, and expectations that they bring to the workplace, from baby boomers getting ready for retirement to Generation Z just starting.
Having a diverse team of all ages has many advantages, but if the generational differences are not effectively managed, they can occasionally lead to rifts within the corporate culture.
It will probably start with the usual misunderstanding. But as the varying perspectives and personalities continue to clash, collaboration and, soon, productivity will reach an all-time low in the workplace.
How do you defeat such a generational gap? Is there any way to cultivate a healthy cross-generational culture that the company will embrace with open arms?
The different generational working styles
Several studies have shown that generational differences can lead to conflict at work. So how can businesses improve their multigenerational staff management?
Let's first examine each generation separately and examine the factors that, according to employee engagement data, mean most to each group in terms of how they work and what they value.
1. Baby Boomers
The percentage of baby boomers in the workforce is roughly 23%, rising since the Great Recession.
Most baby boomers are defined by their goals.
Compared to other generations, boomers are the group that is most satisfied with their level of use at work in terms of employee engagement. Given the correlation between tenure, utilization, and job satisfaction, this is probably related to tenure.
Employees become more aware of how an organization may best utilize their skills and abilities as they get more experience. Regarding role clarity, baby boomers tend to have the highest level.
2. Gen X
Gen X is commonly called the "middle child" generation since they are sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials.
Over 66 million Gen Xers are employed now, while millennials increasingly outnumber them. With more than 60% of them having gone to college, they are a highly educated group. They hold 51% of leadership positions internationally; their typical employment term is five years.
Employees at all professional levels value chances for learning and development.
Although Gen Xers are incredibly tech-savvy and still appreciate classic learning techniques like workshops and seminars, they also highly value contemporary, technology-based solutions.
Your Gen X employees will feel more capable and engaged if you give them a multimedia working environment.
The millennial generation has been a big topic because it makes up most of the labor force today. The propensity of millennials to switch occupations more frequently than previous generations is one such characteristic that is commonly mentioned.
This is accurate in theory, but it's also misleading. Age has a more significant impact on job tenure than a generation. The tenure rates for millennials today are similar to those for Gen Xers in the early 2000s.
For millennials, shared values and a sense of purpose are the most critical engagement factors. Increasing employee transparency and tying their everyday work to the organization's goals might inspire them.
Engaging in corporate charity, especially with millennial employees, can significantly influence engagement.
4. Generation Z
While many have recently entered the workforce or are just starting, Gen Z already displays some distinctive characteristics.
Younger workers will better comprehend their roles if clear expectations are set. Also, it gives businesses a chance to figure out how best to use the unique skills of their younger workers.
How to cultivate a healthy cross-generational culture
The obstacles faced by employees from different generations are comparable to the centuries-old cross-cultural difficulties.
We must enable people from various generational cultures to understand one another from a cross-cultural perspective to help them collaborate more effectively and with fewer conflicts.
The lesson is that people from different generations think differently and make different decisions from others because what they value is different, in addition to serving as a focal point for your organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion activities.
How do you make sure everyone is heard and valued? Here are some tips to create a healthy cross-generational company culture.
1. Promote a spirit of collaboration
Employee interaction outside the workplace can significantly aid coworkers in getting to know one another and fostering respect.
For example, even a company-paid lunch can assist in promoting the development of contacts that can eventually lead to ongoing collaborations.
2. Boost the employer brand
Your hiring process is one of the most crucial but also one of the most overlooked aspects of managing a multigenerational team.
Regardless of how long a candidate has worked in your industry, treating job advertising and interviews as marketing for your company's culture will ensure that job candidates and recruits are drawn to your organization's basic principles.
3. Accept the strengths and weaknesses of each generation
Today's intergenerational workforce has access to fantastic skill sets that can be combined. Nonetheless, significant cultural, technological, and professional differences between generations frequently cause conflict, misunderstandings, and frustration.
When it comes to communication and technology, these distinctions are apparent.
Boomers and Gen-Z workers approach those two tasks in quite different ways. The most helpful strategy to work effortlessly with colleagues from different generations is to be upfront about your generational strengths and shortcomings and support each other.
The ways that different generations process information and learn might also vary greatly. To create synergy, talking about this with one another can be beneficial.
4. Promote mentoring between generations
Team productivity is enhanced by diversity. Create teams and work groups whose members come from various generations and allow them to collaborate.
A culture where each individual's input is equally recognized is established by having a balanced workforce that actively communicates with one another.
A dynamic and effective workplace develops when their knowledge supports the youthful inventiveness and zeal of the older generation. To guarantee that workers of all ages are on the same page, provide your teams the opportunity for mentorship and reverse mentoring.
A solid corporate culture depends on multigenerational teams that are engaged and varied.
The demand for a strong culture fit is something that all generations share, even though business culture is not universal.
Employers should endeavor to define their culture and ensure a good culture fit before recruiting a new employee to achieve sustained growth.
They can also cater to a more cross-generational workforce with a streamlined workflow. With Hezum, an intuitive and complete HR solution, tasks from onboarding to time-management schedules can be completed in a secured and centralized platform.