Here at the end of our generational journey, we’ve absolutely zero big bang systemic solutions to offer. But fear not! There’s a helpful and very human lesson or two to be learned from looking at each group:
Understand, Communicate, Trust
Plenty of differences are obvious from the start, but often it’s the details impressed on us by the environments we grew up in — each different from the one we’ve come to collectively share – that have the most impact on the way we conduct ourselves. It’s common for people to automatically attribute judgments to these differences because they are unfamiliar, and so it is by shedding light on them that we can promote understanding, and begin to guide more efficient and cohesive workforce teams.
Once we have understanding in place, we can turn focus to communication. Looking back at the tools and trends that arose during each generation’s debut in the office, it becomes obvious that the enhancement of communication has been a running theme. We want to talk to each other and we want to do so efficiently, but misunderstandings prevent us from making the most of our efforts because they engender mistrust. Being more familiar with styles outside of our own can free up these communication barriers and ultimately help form the internal relationships that buttress effective teams.
Finally, it is without a doubt that we all place confidence in is trust. It’s a basic foundation that all employees seek in their work environment, and it’s a goal that unifies us. Get understanding and communication down, and you’ve got a direct line to that goal.
Promote the Individual, Affect Change
While labeling generations helps with organizing our approach to understanding the root of differences, it can also limit and marginalize our perceptions of each other. After all, individual differences among employees exist regardless of generation or experience.
And that’s why, especially considering the number of different approaches in today’s work environment, it’s absolutely imperative that we engage each other as individuals of immanent value–not groups of dated conventions. We each have something important to bring to the table, and if we can get away from the stereotypes and get closer to really understanding each other, then the easier it will be to recognize and utilize that value for years to come.