Guru Guidance Tips: How to Bridge the Generational Gap
At last year’s Build Business conference, the mentee enjoyed the presentation on “Bridging the Generational Gap in the Workplace.” Like many offices, hers features employees covering a wide range of ages. If she and her guru were to have a conversation about the challenges and opportunities that this generational gap presents to communicating ideas, to working as a team, and more, what might they discuss? What perspective might each bring to the table?
- Acknowledge different levels of experience (both with certain skills like technology and as general years of experience). Recognize that everyone might have a predisposition to think that if something worked somewhere else before, that it may work here. Be open-minded.
- Develop a team mentality. Build relationship by getting to know your co-workers. Go to lunch, attend office events, etc. “We’re all in this together.”
- Utilize intermediaries when needed. Sometimes an in-between person can help neutralize a tough conversation to bring enough perspective to help two others come together.
- Trust & Respect. Recognize each person’s value to solidify relationships.
- One firm present has a “Continuous Quality Improvement” (CQI) program. Each person submits ideas for improvement to an open forum. Younger staff are able to share their ideas without fighting against the implementation process that older staff might be opposed to.
- If you are a manager, recognize the strengths of your team and work to empower them. It is motivating to younger staff.