How To Ensure Your Age-Diverse Business Succeeds
Most workplaces are no longer composed of just one generation; it’s important to understand each generation to reduce turnover and encourage their long-term growth in your business. The main generations in the workforce are Baby Boomers (born between 1944-1964), Gen X (born between 1965-1980), and Millennials (born between 1981-1995). Each have their own career goals and aspirations they want to achieve. Because many workplaces are so age-diverse, using a “one-size-fits-all” model for your company isn’t the best approach—you need to understand the needs of each generation to foster their best work. Here are a few ways to understand and manage employees of different age ranges.
Understand Their Priorities
Everyone is at different stages in their lives, so by understanding what your employees are hoping to achieve and attain can help you run your business more effectively and improve retention. Baby boomers are typically getting ready for retirement, and thus value retirement planning as well as better health insurance and benefits. Gen X, being somewhat in the middle of their careers, want job security for the positions they’re in, a good work-life balance, and are often looking for ways they can move up the company ladder. Finally, millennials are relatively new to the workforce, but like Gen X, value a work-life balance, plus benefits, and work schedule flexibility.
Streamline Communication and Collaboration
Not everything needs to be a meeting or even an email. Technology has come a long way to be able to communicate easier and connect your employees. If you often need to talk to other people in other locations, you can set up video conferencing, or even just something simple like Skype, for people to quickly message each other. Look for ways to remove antiquated processes as well. For example, switching to electronic documents where possible and minimizing paper use so people aren’t searching for documents on other people’s desks. Find the best way to use technology for employees to communicate and you’ll see an improvement in collaboration.
Foster Growth and Education
People want to feel confident and skilled in their roles, and you can help them do so by investing in learning and professional development. This, in particular, should be tailored to the growth of people in different generations. Older generations likely want to know how to work faster and more efficiently, while younger generations look for how their role fits into the company and how to improve their quality of work. By taking an active interest in helping your employees grow, it also makes them feel valued and can build loyalty and trust toward the business, thus improving retention.
Keep An Open Mind and Ask For Feedback
Your employees know what they want, so if you don’t know how best to address their needs moving forward, it’s important to be open to what they have to say. By fostering open, transparent communication between management and workers, your employees also build trust with you and the company itself. It’s also a good idea to touch base more than annually with your employees to see what changes could be made to improve productivity and work culture.
Overall, an age-diverse workplace can be complicated with multiple generations vying to have their needs met. While you may not be able to satisfy everyone, finding ways to support employees of all generations is always going to be the best practice for your business.