5 Ways to Succeed in a Multi-Generational Technology Workplace
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Millennials are fast becoming the largest group in the workforce today, especially within the technology sector. It got me thinking about all the different generations working together under one roof. Each generation has its quirks and star qualities, but how do we all come together for an organization’s greater purpose? And, perhaps most importantly, what’s the best way to motivate, coach and develop each of them alongside one another?
New York Times Best Selling author Lindsey Pollack recently spoke on a webinar where she addressed many of these issues in a fun and compelling way. Lindsey has made a career out of researching millennials and advising on multi-generational collaboration, and her presentation included important takeaways for anyone working amongst different generations. After digesting the content, I thought I would put together my favorite five ways for all of us, whether you’re an owner, manager, recruiter or co-worker to succeed in a multi-generational workplace.
1. Yelling doesn’t work! This is often hard for Generation X’s to understand because this is what many were used to. If you want results from millennials, for example, and want them to thrive, you need to speak to them as equals…because they are.
2. Give Feedback. “They” want direction, coaching and most of all FEEDBACK. This doesn’t mean giving feedback every minute, though. Read the One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard. The book describes developing a culture of short, constructive feedback on a regular basis.
3. There are many faces to a person. In an AdWeek article talking about the Z generation, one described themselves as follows: “I’m reserved on Facebook (if and when I use it), I’m informed on Twitter, I’m a showoff on Snapchat, I’m a troll on Reddit and I’m creative on Instagram.” Don’t categorize your employees by their age; they contain a variety of skills and qualities that give them in-depth characteristics.
4. Diversify your delivery methods. Everyone has a preference on their desired communication channel. The next time you’re giving a live presentation, simulcast live or on Periscope and live tweet your of event highlights. Then, construct a summary of event tweets, full video, audio and slides available after the event and topic based archives of event. Giving several options will allow the audience to choose which channel suits their needs best, no matter which generation they are.
5. Measure everything. Access to data for career services –and embrace the change to the industry. Millennials want more and more of it. This includes graduate employment data, user reviews, etc. Millennials trust data, and they will expect it. On the same terms, other generations can use this to their advantage when browsing jobs while in competition with other age groups.
Bottom line, companies need to extend their reach to ALL generations. It’s crucial to attract (and retain!) a variety of groups that are composed of different talents to better your business. If you want more information on winning the generational workplace war, check out Lindsey’s full recorded presentation.
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