Tips to managing different generations at work

coffee-beans-1082116__340.jpgToday's managers are dealing with different generations under one roof and ought to be meticulous about the style of leadership they employ. It's important that they understand that each of these generations grew up experiencing significantly different things and respond to different methods and approaches in the work place.

If you're a manager and want to know more about managing different generations at work, here are a few pointers.

Understand the different generations that are in your company
Generational differences can affect everything, including recruiting, building teams, dealing with change, motivating, managing and increasing productivity. Failure to have thorough understanding of them can lead to poor morale among other things.  The different generations that might exist in your company will consist of Baby Boomers - who are extremely job-focused, Gen Xers who are described as adaptable and resourceful, Millennials who value work-life balance and flexibility even more than Gen X and Generation Z. Gen Z is part of a generation that is global, social, visual and technological.

All these groups might not necessarily be under your management but what's important is to understand the ones that are, how they function, what they prefer and value. 

Consider their needs
Once you understand the different generations you have to manage, consider their individual needs. They all have different career goals and strengths. According to Boomers delight at the thought of being put in charge of a project; Gen-Xers will appreciate the autonomy to complete a task their way; and a Millennial will enjoy sharing ideas with a creative team as much as a Gen Z will.

Your goal is to make sure that they understand the important of each group and their collective responsibility towards the organisations overall goals.

Management style
Don't blanket approach your management style with each generation. Baby boomers are perceived to me more "reserved," while Gen Y and Z tend to favour more "collaborative" and "in-person" means of interacting. This is consistent with other studies showing that Millennials, overall, relate far better to a coaching style of management than to a more traditional top-down authoritative approach.

Your goal is to tailor your management style to each generations' personality, skills and needs and understand that each generation has a preferred style of learning.

Truth is, we are now facing a workplace where in theory, many employers could have employees ranging from 18 to 70 in the workplace. This can have huge implications in terms of managing the needs and expectations of these generations. What's important is for managers to know that a healthy organisation comprises of different people, from different generations.

 What's more important is that they employ strong communication techniques as each generation dissects information differently. The last thing you want is for generational discrepancies to stand in the way of everyday business.

Communicate Recruitment is a recruitment agency with offices throughout South Africa and a longstanding network of clients and candidates. We can help you connect with great candidates that are a right match to for your company culture. Visit our website and register your jobs with us.