Challenges of a multigenerational workforce
by Natassja Wynhorst
Working within a multigenerational workforce means that you may have a Millennial managing you, but you may still work alongside Gen X’s and Baby Boomers. As discussed last week, more and more modern workforces are seeing their staff be a compilation of up to five different generations, with vastly different beliefs, values, life experiences, communication styles and expectations.
With all these differences between generations, it is not hard to assume that a few challenges may arise when trying to please everyone.
Let’s take a look at the three biggest challenges a multigenerational workforce brings to the table:
A high preference among employees is to work with and interact with those of similar ages. As we are in a time of age-diverse organisations, this is a challenge for managers to learn and understand the intentions and specific traits of all ages and generations, and then finding a way to integrate them in cohesive teams.
Along with different values and beliefs, different generations have different expectations that they want from their workplace. Older generations may prefer a focus on wellness and a work-life balance, yet younger generations may focus more on the flexible working environment, allowing them to work from wherever, whenever. To make this work, managers and business owners need to create a workplace environment that is flexible enough to suit the attitudes and needs across all age groups.
It may be obvious that there are different communications between each generation. The generation gap of social media communication preferences and face-to-face communication preferences can create discomfort or confusion between the ages as one is not as comfortable with one communication platform as the next.
Although we have only discussed three, there are, of course, many more challenges and barriers that result from a multigenerational workforce. Leveraging each generation’s unique strengths and enabling them to learn from each other will create a more creative and collaborative working environment.
Implementing a flexible space that allows each generation to work as efficiently and productively as possible is key and Wurkspace 7 knows just how to implement that into your organisation; contact us today to find out how.