The decade we grew up in doesn’t just influence what music we listen to and how we speak. It also has an impact on the way we operate in the workplace. Depending on the generation you belong to, you might have different values, different methods of working, and different beliefs about what constitutes a positive work environment. If employers aren’t careful to recognize and manage these generational differences, it can ultimately result in counterproductive workplace conflicts. Likewise, it’s important that companies address sources of potential conflict and take steps to head them off at the pass. Today, we’ll take a look at a few things employers can do to minimize generational disputes in the workplace.
Create Opportunities for Collaboration
Perhaps the best way to manage generational conflicts in the workplace is to provide employees from different generations with opportunities to find common ground and learn from one another. Some companies create mentorship programs wherein seasoned employees provide guidance to younger staff members. In other cases, companies will partner younger employees with older ones to provide one-on-one instruction in new technology platforms. The important thing is to promote an open dialogue and exchange of knowledge between employees of different generations. This way, employees will be more inclined to appreciate what others can bring to the table.
Clearly Define Company Goals
This can help to unify an office of people with divergent personal goals and aspirations. Individuals may not agree on everything, but they should at least be able to come together to accomplish the stated goals of an organization. Personality conflicts between employees will be less problematic if everyone’s on the same page, working towards the same objective.
So much of who we are is defined by our personal interests – the things that really excite us and bring us to life. When employees are able to share their interests, it becomes easier to empathize with one another. Even simple things like being able to personalize desk space can go a long way. If employees are able to see each other as humans, rather than just coworkers, their differences will be less likely to cause conflict.
Here at CSS, we’ve helped place candidates from four different generations in positions all across the country. Ready to find the next great addition to your office? Give us a call to speak with a staffing specialist and find the right candidate today.