One of the biggest challenges managers face is the generational differences in their work forces.
Problems can arise from differing mindsets and communication styles of workers born in different eras. These challenges can be aggravated by new technology and work patterns that mix workers of different ages in ever-changing teams.
Managing the mixture of ages, values and views is an increasingly difficult task.
Yet there are ways that you as a manager can set you and your team up for success.
Personalize Your Management Style
First, understand your own management style. It may be beneficial to take a personality assessment, such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or the DISC Assessment to better identify your dominant style of business leadership.
Ask Your Team Members about Their Needs and Preferences
Since you are managing people that grew up with different perceptions of work – based upon their experience, culture and education – you’ll need to adapt your style to accommodate these biases, rather than force the team to accommodate to yours.
Treat your employees as you do your customers. Learn all you can about them. Work to understand their specific needs, and serve them according to their unique preferences.
Try to accommodate personal scheduling needs, work/life balance issues and nontraditional lifestyles. These efforts will go a long way towards building a loyal unit that will go to bat for you when you need it most!
Build on Strengths
Consider the strengths that each employee brings to the team – and focus on them.
Encourage the team to use the organization’s vision and mission as the compass, and then allow the workplace to shape itself around the work being done, the customers being served and the people who work there.
Be sure to regularly give thanks and celebrate when an employee gets it right. In these tough financial times, this is one strategy that will go a long way towards helping employees feel valued, and it doesn’t cost you a thing to implement!