The strongest and most successful organizations of this age are the ones that promote diversity. The evidence for this declaration is clearly visible on the Web Portals of Fortune 500 companies. People from diverse age groups and cultural backgrounds who work together will help to build a stronger organization that has more innovative and creative ideas and results.
However, diversity often can come with costs and challenges. One of the most common challenges to organizations these days is ‘Age Diversity’.
It is highly essential for the organizations to find effective ways to meet the challenges of Age Diversity because both the ‘Senior Stars’ and the ‘Young Gems’ can make tremendous contributions to the company, in their own unique way. If managed smartly, Age Diversity can lift organizations to new levels, achieve more goals and be more successful .
Here is a carefully-compiled list of 5 powerful, yet simple ways to help manage Age Diversity in the workplace.
1. FACILITATE STRONG NETWORKS OF COMMUNICATION
The most amazing thing that any organization can possibly do is to help facilitate stronger networks of communication. Often, what becomes painful and frustrating for employees is the difficulty faced in communicating their message to their colleagues and managers. Different generations can have different communication styles and norms. This can easily result in grudges and resentment which can translate into bitter conversational tones and filthy work-politics.
Although standardization and formalization are important constituents for organizations – too much of these can bring negative consequences. Therefore, employees must be allowed to easily communicate (even on personal levels) with members of Vertical and Horizontal chains in their respective organizations.
2. INVEST IN TIME FOR NURTURING EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIPS
The organizations which adopt ways to create opportunities for their employees to bond and socialize reduce the problem of Age Diversity to a great extent.
By planning and implementing fun hangouts, leisure activities, official dine-outs, lunches and so on, where employees from all age-groups are invited, an organization can construct a friendly and enjoyable work environment.
This also provides employees with an excellent chance to get to know each other and potentially clear-up a lot of small misunderstandings that they may not be able to during their usual 9 to 5 work hours. And who knows, they may end up discovering amazing things about each other and becoming best buddies despite the age difference.
3. PROMOTE TEAM-WORK
Traditional Chain of Command is often viewed negatively by employees, especially by members that are lower on the hierarchy. So, the best way to deal with the ‘Being-Ruled-By’ or ‘Placing-Orders-Like-We-Are-Servants’ feelings is to form teams of employees from diverse age groups and make their performances dependent on one-another.
Expectations should be clearly communicated so that the team understands what the goal of working together is and that they are expected to provide output through mutual efforts. Allow opportunities for teams to try new things. Praise efforts and team results but also allow for mistakes to happened. Lessons learned from mistakes are valuable learning tools.
4. CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Despite a manager’s best efforts to create a collaborative working environment, conflicts can and often do arise. Managers need to be able to address them quickly and effectively so that they do not spin out of control. Managers who can get to the heart of an issue and work with their employees to teach them how resolve conflict themselves help to create healthy work environments. Appreciating differences and working towards a common goal helps to focus on solutions.
5. CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS
Celebrate small and large achievements in the workplace. This helps teams and employees to feel appreciated and valued. It does not have to cost a company a lot to recognize the hard work and contributions that their employees make. A simple ‘Thank-You’, email or announcement can go a long way to help boost employee morale across all generations.
About The Author:
Stevens Stone is a professional recruiter working for a leading academic company Assignment Geek. Besides working as a recruiter, he shares his experience to motivate beginners to step into the recruitment field.
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