Baby Boomers vs. Millennials?
There’s talk in the media about a disconnect between generations. This is not a new phenomenon. But, if you want your company to succeed, you need to engage multiple generations.
You see the disconnecty in families when grandparents and parents bemoan and criticize the dress and habits of their children who, in the opinion of the older generations, adopt “weird” hair styles and don’t know how to work hard. In the workplace, it is said that Baby Boomers like to stick to more conventional approaches to work while Millennials like to work on their own time with more autonomy and are not averse to shifting jobs when there’s more to be learned elsewhere.
Effect on Employee Engagement
What effect does this have on employee engagement? Whenever there’s friction between factions in a family or at work, there is a risk of alienating one side or the other and reducing overall employee engagement.
Why Care About Employee Engagement
Our annual employee engagement surveys with nearly 5,000 organizations tell us that higher employee engagement correlates to:
- 18% greater productivity
- 12% higher customer satisfaction
- 51% less voluntary turnover
Indeed, employee engagement should very much matter to both business and people leaders who want their business to perform at their peak.
3 Tips on How to Overcome Rifts Between Generations
Do not despair. You can overcome the tensions that would separate generations just as you can overcome the tensions that would divide workers by race, ethnicity, or gender.
- Get to Know Your Team Members as Individuals
Spend the time, one-on-one, to get to know your team members on a personal basis. Learn what motivates them at work. Ask them what they find most satisfying about their job and what would engage them further.
Learn what your workers need to keep them committed to their job, what they find most meaningful. This is not generation-based. It is individual-based.
- Provide the Essential Motivators
Once you know what motivates your team members, you can ensure that their job is tailored to their interests and talents. Does a team member crave challenge? Then give them stretch assignments or opportunities to learn a new skill.
Does a team member value social connection with co-workers? Then give them team-based work assignments.
Show that you listened to what they care about at work and want to provide a job that energizes them. And whenever you ask for feedback, make sure that you follow through and implement the desired employee changes.
- Stay Tuned
Keep tuned in to the chatter of the team. Listen carefully to what your team members care about. Do they have specific complaints? If so, get to the bottom of what concerns them so you can deal with the problem before it grows.
Are you losing employees? Find out why and do something about it. What excites them about their work? Keep feeding that kind of engagement.
The Bottom Line
Rather than sow divisiveness between generations, work toward binding them together in a workplace that helps them thrive as individuals and gain a sense of purpose as a team.
To learn more about ways to better engage multiple generations, download How to Manage Different Generations Without Going Insane