Understanding inter-generational colleagues

generations.jpgWith recent breakthroughs in medical technology, people are living longer and choosing to remain in the workforce for longer. It comes as no surprise that several distinct generations are mingling more now than ever before, and communication between these groups is increasingly important and challenging. A higher rank in the workplace is no longer synonymous to age and each generation exudes different characteristics unique to them.

Here are things you need to know in order to better understand and manage inter-generational gaps in your work place.

Different values
It is obvious that younger generations do not share a majority of personal values that the older generations hold on to. The younger generation's values tend to be less conservative than the older generations. Baby boomers value equal rights, involvement, and personal gratification while GenX value balance, diversity, and a global mind-set. Millennials are geared towards achievement, fun sociability and self-confidence. All these values are important and unique to each generation.

Forms of communication
Whether it is within the workforce or with friends and relatives, methods of communication between generations vary extensively. This is because each generation is wired differently. Understanding the differences can offer insights into working better in cross-generational teams. Baby boomers prefer face-to-face communication while Generation X is generally comfortable with web-based communication such as conference calling. Millennials grew up around the technology and social media movement, therefore this type of web-based communication is weighed as equally respectable and as 'their thing'.

Don't blame differences on age
Differences in the work place are inevitable and blaming it on age won't bar them from coming or make them disappear. People tend to use age as an excuse and hope it'll get them off the hook. According to a study, people who work alongside colleagues of different ages are happier than those who work just with their peer group. This is because of reciprocal socialization and learning. Younger people enjoy the wisdom and expertise that come with old people and the older generation appreciate the energy and vibrancy of young people.

A multigenerational workforce demands a shift in the way we interact and relate to each other, but it won't always be in the ways that we expect it to be. In order to effectively work well together, everybody from Generation Z to experienced Baby Boomers will have to understand each other's values and different approaches and viewpoints.

Communicate Recruitment is a specialist recruitment company with over 3 decades' of experience. Whether you are a Baby Boomer or Millennial, we connect great people in the IT, Finance, Engineering, Supply Chain and Freight industry. Connect with us and we'll introduce you to great careers and exceptional candidates.