How to bridge the generational gap at work

Create a multi-generational office culture with these five steps.

Working with staff from different backgrounds and of various ages can be challenging at times, but if managed well, it can be incredibly beneficial and make for a multi-faceted, diverse work environment.

Share cross-generational knowledge and skills

Every generation in the office will bring their own valuable set of skills with them. The younger tech-savvy staff members can upskill their older co-workers in the digital space while the more mature colleagues can share their business knowledge and help mentor the younger members of the team.

Cater for various learning styles

We all learn differently. From watching a video to listening to an audiobook or on-the-job practice. Where possible, adjust the training strategy in the office to accommodate different learning styles in order to achieve the best results. Flexible and engaging learning platforms and options are key to training your staff successfully.

Forget stereotypes

 Boomers don’t get technology. Generation X likes to work independently. Generation Y is entitled. Generation Z needs constant feedback. We all know these generational stereotypes, but don’t assume that they are correct. It’s like the meme about two men who would look the same to many algorithms. Both are British males born in 1948, wealthy, self-employed, spend a lot of time in London and have married more than once. The two men are Ozzy Osbourne and Prince Charles, and the point is that generalising about someone based on their demographics risks getting them completely wrong.

Team up different generations

Create opportunities for intergenerational learning by giving staff members of various ages the chance to collaborate in a team. This is especially true when solving complex decision-making tasks, as you will often find different generations come up with different solutions.

On-the-go microlearning 

Life is busy and therefore one cannot expect people to sit in a training seminar for hours on end. Employees are also often overwhelmed by massive chunks of skills development sessions. It is crucial to make training programmes and skill-building strategies accessible and convenient, by breaking the training material into smaller, more manageable, bite-size pieces. Not only is retention often better in a microlearning format, but it also allows employees to focus on getting the knowledge they need and applying it in real world situations.

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