Bringing Out the Best from Each Generation

By: Suzanne Greenlee

SOURCE: Sodexo, Inc.


With generation Z poised to enter the workforce and baby boomers beginning to leave it, workplace demographics are changing. To anticipate the shift, companies need to make sure all employees feel valued for their contributions and  encouraged to bring their unique sets of experiences and perspectives to the workplace.

Gensler’s research found that understanding commonalities and an integrated system of environment, tools and policies will allow organizations to develop specific workplace strategies to bring out the best from each generation.

Here are few tips to ensure each generation brings their best to the workplace:

  • Focus and leverage the best qualities of each generation. For example, members of Gen Z are new to the workplace, but, as digital natives, they bring a perspective that no one else has.
  • Customize your communication style. While a millennial might be more comfortable communicating via email, a baby boomer might prefer a face-to-face meeting. The ability to style shift is going to be increasingly more important.
  • Customize your management style. Be sensitive to how age can affect a person’s preferences when it comes to work style or receiving feedback.
  • Promote sensitivity about generations. Implement educational programs or have informal conversations about the impact generational differences can have in the workplace.
  • Develop and implement reverse mentoring. Each generation has a lot to learn from each other. Create programs or opportunities for advice that goes both ways.
  • Facilitate collaboration across generations with appropriate assignments. Intergenerational teams can bring the broadest range of viewpoints to a project.

Work assignments aren’t the only opportunity for intergenerational collaboration. Organizations can create business resource groups to promote interaction and understanding among generations. For example, At Sodexo, one of our employee business resource group’s (EBRG), Intergenerational Network Group (i-Gen), mission is to leverage multi-generational differences and commonalities for personal and professional growth. I-Gen brings together employees from different generations and offers relevant mentoring and educational opportunities, as well as serving as an important source of education and awareness.

To learn more about Sodexo’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, please visit our Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report

How does your organization leverage employee differences to build a better team?

Tweet me: Six ways to bring out the best from each generation in the workplace @sodexoUSA #intergenerational

KEYWORDS: Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Resource Group, Mentoring, Gen Z, employee business resource groups, employee networks, generation, intergenerational, baby boomer, millennial

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