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Blending Generational Strengths in the Workplace

blending generations in the workplace

Millennials have quite a few factors working in their favor in the workplace. They are the most educated generation in American history with 47% of 25-34 year-olds holding some sort of post-secondary degree and another 18% having completed some post-secondary education, as of 2013. They are also the generation raised amongst modern technology, making it easier for them to learn new systems and communicate quickly and effectively. And they have the benefit of working in a time when pay equality, workers’ rights, and better standards for maternity and paternity leave are at the fore-front of American business issues.

But one big thing they are lacking is experience, and that’s what Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers have in abundance.

Improving teamwork amongst generations should be a priority for businesses, not just to improve productivity but to give your older and younger employees opportunities to learn from one another. Blending generations in the workplace isn’t always easy, particularly as older employees tend to hold higher level positions, but there are a few simple ways that mingling can be encouraged for everyone’s benefit.

Mentoring programs, for example, are a great way to give younger employees access to their more experienced co-workers. By pairing young up-and-comers with the people who hold the positions they aspire to, mentees gain a structured environment in which to ask their most pertinent questions, gain support, and learn from the experiences of their mentors.

Another great way to foster team development amongst employees of every age is with employee-led classes and lectures. Younger employees can lead classes on anything from their favorite hobbies to uses of a new technology. Older employees likewise can share their expertise in a particular business field or give lectures on networking skills, industry trends, etc.

You can gain a much more personalized view of how to bring your workers together with individual and team assessments. This will help you gain insight on qualities that separate your workers and qualities that might bring them together. Once you know what factors might be causing friction or keeping people at a distance, you can craft programs specifically designed to address your business’s unique employee issues.

About Joy Ruhmann
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