In our offices today, we’ve moved into a new multi-generational workforce with baby boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Gen Zs all in one space. Some may see the generational gap as a conflict but leaders who are able to lead a diverse group effectively can tap into each generation’s strength to create powerful teams. Rather than seeing it as a challenge, acknowledge the differences between each generation and encourage collaboration. We’ll cover some tips on how to lead different generations in the workplace to create high-performing teams.
Adapt To Different Work Styles
Respecting each generation may have a different approach but recognising the distinctions is the first step to collaboration. Each member of your team will require a different leadership style from their manager so a one-size-fits-all leadership may actually make some team members feel underappreciated.
Start off with having a chat with your different team members to understand their goals in the workplace and preferred working methods. Leaders should modify their management strategies according to each member’s working style to foster an inclusive and effective work environment. Acknowledging the different styles of each generation and adjusting to them also creates mutual respect between the leader and the team.
Fight Age Stereotypes
It’s easy to brand each generation with a stereotype. You have the loyal but inflexible Baby Boomers, the hardworking but entitled Millennials and the creative but disloyal Gen Zs. With these negative traits associated with different generations, it’s common to generalise that one’s values and beliefs are flawed solely based on their age.
However, a person’s values are not fixed just by the year they were born. It’s also influenced by experiences and realities faced. As a leader, it’s important to understand the nuances of the different generations and their beliefs. Realising that each generation cannot be placed into a box is a step towards acceptance and a collaborative environment.
Listen, Listen, Listen
In such a diverse environment, the key to productive collaboration is listening. No matter the generation, each team member wants to be understood and listening to their needs is the step towards collaboration. By being an active listener, you can better grasp your team’s needs, perspectives, and preferences. This understanding allows leaders to offer tailored support, creating an inclusive and engaging work environment that meets the needs of all team members.
EQ For Team Excellence is a team management course in Singapore that helps team members create trust and stronger collaborations in the workplace.