As challenging as it is to run a successful business in today’s economy, no organization can escape meeting the needs of its multigenerational workforce. Along with such diversity comes obstacles that can make any work environment an unpleasant one. Here are some ways businesses can lead a generational workforce to improve employee relations, the work culture and environment.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
Most of today’s work generation is comprised of individuals who have forsaken the nine to five job culture to run their own business. Along the way, they’ve managed to hire professionals who are much older and more experienced than they are. While this can be a boon to any organization, it can also be a pitfall if there are problems with communication. To prevent a breakdown in communication, make sure that everyone’s roles are clearly defined so no boundaries are crossed. Many older workers tend to have take-charge attitudes no matter what positions they may hold within an organization. This can lead to them overstepping their bounds and making decisions that they are not qualified or authorized to make. Prevent this from happening by identifying their roles and making sure they know what is expected of them upfront. Clearly outline when it is and when it is not acceptable for them to make decisions and actions without your approval.
Eliminate Personal Chatter
Creating a happy and healthy work culture while trying to lead a generational workforce is hard work. It is not uncommon for older workers to speak and offer advice on things that are not work-related. While this advice may occasionally be solicited, it is not very appropriate for the work environment. Pay attention to work conversations and the banter of all that are around. Make sure that any conversations that are being had are work-related and not personal. You are in charge of your organization and are responsible for what goes on. Stand up, lead by example and make it known what type of conversation is acceptable and what is not.
Facilitate Knowledge Transfer
Many baby boomers want to share their experiences with those around them. Take advantage of this tendency by encouraging them to share relevant experiences with their coworkers. Many older people have experienced situations that have taught them valuable lessons that you and your organization may be able to benefit from as well. Be prepared to listen to them and use that information to improve the way you manage your company. Remember, to lead a generational workforce, you have to lead it.
Don’t Hire Overqualified Candidates
Today’s younger workforce is made of individuals who tend to get bored easily. They are also inquisitive, impatient and full of energy. One way to keep things challenging in the workforce without creating extra stress, tension or work is to avoid hiring professionals who are overqualified. Individuals who are overqualified tend to experience more frustration and discontent when performing work they feel is beneath their skill, interest and qualification level. No matter how much an individual claims they need a job that they are obviously way to qualified for, it is best to pass them up for someone whose skills, credentials and experience better match the position.
Keep Things Challenging
Millennials tend to be very energetic and are able to multitask more than their baby boomer counterparts. This can lead to some difficulty in the workplace since the younger generation may be able to complete their work tasks faster and more efficiently. This can make it challenging to motivate them to work longer hours or to perform additional tasks as needed. A great way to overcome this road block is to focus on each employee’s strength and weaknesses when delegating work duties and roles. Encourage employees to seek out guidance and work that’s a bit more challenging than what they are used to. Offer training and certification courses to help incentivize workers to perform their duties and meet your organization’s needs while enhancing their skills.
Be Clear and Direct
Many millennials have a constant need for attention and feedback. When relaying information or job duties, make sure you are clear and direct. Provide feedback often so younger employees know what they need to do and how to act. Failure to be specific and provide regular feedback can become a source of frustration for everyone and make it harder for you to lead a generational workforce. Remember, in order to lead a generational workforce, you need to have clear goals and processes in places. Don’t hesitate to make it known what your expectations and requirements are. Be prepared to enforce them while being the example for everyone to follow. There are many ways you can build and lead a generational workforce. Mighty Recruiter has resources available that can help you to better improve your company’s work environment and processes.