Leading a multigenerational team in a hybrid workplace
The recent demographic changes have resulted in up to five generations actively participating in the workplace together, presenting new opportunities for businesses leveraging the benefits of a multi-generational workforce.
A recent World Economic Forum study found that companies who invest in a multi-generational workforce benefit from greater productivity, retention, and upskilling. However, only six percent of employees believe that their leaders are effectively equipped to harness the benefits of a multigenerational team.
Embracing generational differences
The generational differences became even more significant in a remote work setting, with uneven experiences driving an increased focus on wellbeing and retention across all age groups. In a hybrid workplace, it is more important than ever before to create a holistic work environment suitable for employees of all life stages as trends on both ends of the age spectrum demand a much more collaborative, networked, and fluid workplace where each generation is actively engaged.
For many senior leaders, their journey to the top required long hours and frequent business travel. Today research suggests that younger employees have different expectations – in fact, 38 percent of Generation Z employees consider work-life balance being the most important factor when looking for employment. They care about organisational values, such as diversity, equity and inclusion and expect transparency when it comes to their career progression.
What employees value is often influenced by the experiences at the beginning of their personal lives and careers. Each generation entered the workforce under certain circumstances, which ultimately shaped their sense of purpose, their preferences, and drivers for success. To create a culture in which people of all ages can be vulnerable and learn from one another, leaders need to create an inclusive decision-making process that encourages open dialogue.
The universal driver
Whilst all generations are different, there is one thing they all have in common – they all want to be valued. Leading a multi-generational workforce requires a creative leadership mindset, encouraging employees to speak up and making sure their voices are being heard. To create the kind of environment in which every person feels comfortable to ask for help, share their best ideas, and take risks, leaders need to prioritise psychological safety.
Harnessing the benefits of a diverse group of people with different perspectives, experiences and ideas can lead to greater productivity, and for those leaders looking to tap into the diversity of thought, there are few more diverse outlooks and approaches than those across various generations. There is a significant opportunity for cross-generational learning and mentoring, as tapping into the older workers’ insights and skills and using them to upskill younger employees can bring collective benefits. It’s also important not to underestimate what older employees can learn from their younger colleagues. Furthermore, older workers are far less likely than their younger counterparts to move to other companies, providing stability and continuity.
There are significant benefits to having an age-diverse workforce. Not only do organisations better represent the segments of their customer base, but also make their employees feel valued, regardless of when they were born. At Acumen, we pride ourselves in offering development that gives managers practical tools to help solve real-life challenges. We offer an extensive menu of courses, workshops and coaching programmes, ranging from communication skills through to executive leadership development. In most cases, we design the interventions specifically for each client, but we also offer a wide range of off-the-shelf programmes for those who prefer this approach. For more information about our programmes please contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.