“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” Stephen R. Covey
As Baby Boomers retire – in droves, Millennials take hold of the reins, and the first class GenZ college graduates enter the workforce, companies who appreciate the differences among the generations and learn how to make the most of these differences while recognizing the common ground, are more likely to thrive.
Recognize and Appreciate the Differences
This is not an invitation to stereotype. It is simply an overview of similarities among individuals of the same generation.
Baby Boomers: Optimistic, self-esteem builders who firmly believe that hard work is the road to the top. They enjoy position, professional accomplishments, and the perks that accompany it. Their goal-oriented, competitive, workaholic tendencies work well in the legal field. They are independent, self-reliant, defenders of their belief and use their expertise to champion their causes – which often include defending women and minorities.
Millennials: This generation is equally hard-working but from a different perspective. Rather than placing their work at the center, it revolves around their family, friends, charitable activities, etc. They prefer flex-time, the “mobile” office, and making use of technology to enhance their work/life balance. Teamwork, feedback, and coaching bring out their best. Nevertheless, their “work” is more important than their “place of employment.” If you want to engage and retain their talent, be actively involved in making a difference in your community, as well as the global arena.
Gen Z: Raised on technology, they are savvy tech multi taskers who can manipulate several mediums simultaneously. Living through the recession has made an impact. They are willing to compete for position, love to learn, and have a laudable work ethic. Having a voice matters to them and they use it to question “tradition” and promote reform in multiple forums. Recognizing these attributes now as Gen Z just begin to enter the workforce will help ensure a positive impact on your company.
Discover the Common Ground
Understanding the differences is only the first step to successful multi-generational companies. The real key is recognizing common ground and connecting the dots between the generations. For example:
- Create mentoring partners: Connecting a Millennial who thrives on feedback and a GenZ who loves to use their questioning spirit to learn with a semi-retiring Baby Boomer who makes a great coach/mentor creates a united – rather than frictional – office. It’s a great way to pass the baton.
- Promote interaction: Creating an environment that encourages the differing generations to understand and respect communication and work style preferences helps build comradery.
- Give work itself value and purpose: While each generation may work differently and for different purposes, they all value their work. Recognizing and validating the differences creates bonds – rather than dissension.
- Encourage collaboration: Create multi-generational project teams with the understanding that each has value to offer. Forget hierarchy and learn to use the best of each generation to build a strong, powerful team.
The world around us is constantly changing. It makes sense that companies who want to prosper must change with it. As you embrace the differing generations, allow Springborn Staffing to help you secure the top players in each generation. Our mission is simple: provide superior opportunities for our associate employees while providing best-in-class personnel solutions to our staffing partners. Contact us today – finding great people for our clients is what we do.