As today’s world population increases exponentially, so does the size of our workforce. Doesn’t it fascinates you that you might be working alongside the most diverse age groups yet – from the young, high-spirited 18s’ to the knowledgable 60s’? Well, did you recently face a challenge in leading and managing them?
Don’t let the frustration get the better of you; here’s a brief idea on what you might be dealing with on a daily basis when it comes to managing these people from all walks of life. Understand that each generation is different and learn some simple tips to be on your way to building a powerful, productive dream team!
Traditionalist of The Veterans (born before 1946) – Hardworking and Most Loyal Generation
Believe it or not – there are those that continue working even past their retiring age! For them, success is earned purely through hard work, even if it means putting in long hours. This oldest generation of workers places high regard on a strong work ethic, being civic-minded and rarely questioning their authority or decisions.
Tips to Manage Them: Do not leave them behind! Keep them updated on the latest technological developments without overwhelming them. Still using electronic mails to reach out to them? Try speaking to them in person – they much prefer holding a one-to-one interaction instead.
Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964) – Optimistic and Ambitious
Proud of their identity defined by their profession, it is important for them to constantly have access to equal opportunities at their workplace. Now in their 50s or 60s, this generation focuses more on succeeding in their individual performance and they prize heavily on teamwork, collaboration, and community. They usually climb the corporate ladder quickly and are now hold high ranking positions within many organisations.
Tips to Manage Them: Since they take pride in being a valuable asset, offer them leadership roles or mentorship opportunities to the younger generation. Use emails instead of instant messaging to communicate with them and provide PowerPoint handouts over interactive presentations.
Generation X (Born between 1965 and 1976) – Fiercely Independent and Flexible
Replacing Baby Boomers, independence is their middle name and they are more adept with different work flexibility and change. They value recognition, constructive feedback and being self-sufficient at all times, making them successful leaders. However, be careful not to stretch them thin as they highly prioritise work-life balance -they will not like it if you disrupt that.
Tips to Manage Them: Enough said – grant them flexibility in terms of work-life balance and reward their hard work! Let them shine by assigning them a project that is not bounded by a strict deadline or structure but driven by results instead.
Generation Y or The Millennials (Born between 1977 and 1997) – Most Educated Generation and Dominant of Today’s Workforce
No, they are not just ‘lazy or self-centered’ workers as the society claims they are. In fact, they dominate 35% of the global workforce, making them currently the largest generation of workers! They seek out more than monetary gains; they look for meaningful career paths for that bigger, common purpose, and their roles in achieving them. They flourish on creativity, intelligence, being goal-orientated, and tech-savvy.
Tips to Manage Them: Establish instant communications with them on the spot using instant messaging, voice-mails, or even social media. Most of all, try to avoid organising unnecessary meetings as most of them find it a waste of time. Give them more opportunities to learn at work and provide them with integrated technological tools to achieve better results.
Generation Z (Born after 1997) – The Digital and Entrepreneurial Generation
Born in the technology age, they will not do without smartphones, iPhones, Facebook, Youtube, and social media! The newest generation that is about to enter the workforce, they are fast-paced in search for financial stability and have a strong entrepreneurial drive.
Known to be a competitive bunch, most of their decisions made are influenced by the capabilities of their technological tools. Surprisingly, they prefer face-to-face communication and value well-developed professional networks.
Tips to Manage Them: For them, it’s all about the experiences! Foster a fun and creative working environment to motivate them (think modern offices, spa, gym, outdoor break area, massages!) Also, constantly listen to their feedback and give suggestions for improvement. The more personal your coaching is, the better.
Always keep in mind that different generations have different needs. No doubt it can get tough to manage different sets of people that come with unique traits. But with a little patience and perseverance, it can be incredibly rewarding once you unlock their potentials.
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