After seeing the Axios poll on the generational divide in the United States, it may be a good time for leaders everywhere to check and see if their multi-generational workforce is working together or blaming one another. Being aware of why different generations approach work differently will help tailor feedback, structure responsibilities, and reward performance effectively.
Generations are different because they have different life experiences. Facebook, Twitter, and Slack did not exist when Boomers started their career, so face-to-face meetings were a requirement for working together, reviewing progress, and making decisions as a team. Millennials love interaction as well, hence the success of apps that offer instant messaging, group chats, and shared forums. A leader, regardless of his or her generation, can tap into these preferences and hold a traditional face-to-face meeting to launch the product team, schedule monthly video sessions to discuss what is happening, and create a Slack channel for brainstorming. A one-size-fits-all approach is not enough to build a successful team.
The generational aspect is just one piece of the puzzle when working with different workplace styles and communication. Rather than looking at differences, there is far more to see by looking at similarities. While employees from multiple generations may approach work differently than their older or younger teammates, their views and backgrounds are real and a savvy leader will use these differences to deliver exceptional results and engage employees. How do you help multi-generational teams succeed?