People of different ages behave and communicate differently. How we greet others. How we receive news. Who we define as authority. How we define respect. All these are governed by a group of norms and mores of our upbringing.
Below, we have defined several generalized generations using three variables – values, work habits, and modes of communications. We feel it is useful to understand and embrace the differences so that we can build healthier workplace environments and provide better customer service experiences. It is also important to consider these differences in our daily lives.
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There is now an age gap of more than 50 years between the oldest and youngest members in today’s workforce; as a result, several generations are forced to work with individuals they may not see eye to eye with. Conflicting ideas, stereotypes, and exposure to significantly different lifestyles have contributed to intergenerational conflicts, which are often major areas of contention in the business world.
To bridge the generational gap it’s important for us to recognize generational differences as part of life. Being conscious of a particular generation’s preferred style of communication, for example, can make a world of difference in communication and how the message is interpreted. The medium is the message!
Another solution to bridging the generational gap is mentorship. The traditional mentoring model pairs the younger generation of workers with older workers, so that the more senior employees could instill institutional knowledge and skills to the less experienced employees. However, there is another form of mentorship that is more effective these days and that is the reverse mentorship model. In this model, younger workers are able to reap the benefits of traditional mentorship, while passing on tech-savvy and multitasking skills to the older workers.
Tip of the day: The healthiest workplaces are those that treat their employees as multi-dimensional who desire to be engaged on many levels. To learn more about Reverse Mentorship and how it can help you in the business world click here.
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