Every facility employs people of multiple generations; from the “Silents” to the “Baby Boomers” to Generations “X” and “Y.” There are several principles of generational differences and, in order to overcome these, it is important to understand them. Many of the differences that occur in an intergenerational workplace revolve around the ideas of respect, trust, and expression of value. Each generation views these ideas differently.
Treat older employees as you would their younger counterparts
You don’t want any perception of “ageism” in your workplace, so be sure to implement HR practices that don’t favor younger employees. Create opportunities and motivation for employees to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships at work that span age boundaries.
Offer flexible work arrangements
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, offering reduced hours or work-from-home opportunities can appeal to older workers and younger workers alike.
Keep your workplace accessible
There is a strong correlation between age and disability but the truth of the matter is, disability can affect anyone so accessibility should always be a priority. These conditions do not necessarily prevent them from being productive members of your workforce. Strategies designed for keeping people with disabilities on the job can benefit any worker dealing with a disability.
Older workers are often denied access to training, but keeping their skills and knowledge up-to-date will help maintain engagement and productivity. Identify which workers would most benefit from training and tailor techniques to the needs of each employee. Make sure you offer new challenges to your employees regardless of age. This can help them avoid being burned out and can bring their expertise to new departments.
Despite the occurrence of differences in an intergenerational workplace, it is important for each generation to learn from each other and work together as a team to help a facility function as best as possible. The collaboration of each generation will also lead to more effective products and solutions because each generation will feel properly represented. Facility managers need to seek this collaboration when presenting a new project or implementing change.
For more information about understanding intergenerational differences, contact Vanguard Resources.