Multigenerational workforce is hardly a foreign concept nowadays. Regardless of where you live or what company you work at, there will always be a shift in the workforce. Older and younger generation are growing at the same time in the same workplace.
According to Working Knowledge on HBR, in most workplaces today, we work side by side with different generations namely Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Z, and Millennial. These multi generations bring their own unique life experiences, attitudes, expectations, styles different preferences regarding use of technology, work-life balance, and office culture to the working spaces. These kind of differences might make it difficult for managers to figure out how to manage and respond to diverse needs.
However, the Four Drive Model showed that multigenerational workforce has much more in common. They also, sometimes, share the same interest. For example, you can have a drive to acquire resources and rewards, a drive to bond with others, learn, and defend or protect yourself. These kind of drivers are owned by every born generation. So, when managers discover that increasing employee motivation by satisfying fundamental emotional drivers is important, it will be easier to create a happy multigenerational workforce.
Further, the Four Drive Model also mentioned that those basic needs of drivers can be fulfilled by providing security, recognition, and personal work life. For instance, telling your employee how much you appreciate their hard work and offering help when you see your workers struggling do not have to be generation-specific, rather it is simply human-specific.
What does it mean?
It means that appreciation in today’s multigenerational workforce is not as hard you think it is. By understanding and giving empathy to your employees is already a helpful appreciation. Therefore, providing an empathy feeling and caring to each other is a must. You can do that by spending more time with employees and giving one-on-one meeting to talk important matters. Also, most importantly you need to be “a human” regardless generation and age. Being human means to share responsibility of helping other co-workers no matter what your position or role is.
Likewise, Brandon Smith, a workplace psychologist, commented that one of effective ways to reach your recognition into a memorable and functional practice is to have a communication plan. This communication plan will happen when you know how to bridge different multigenerational gap in employee communication. “The biggest thing is to make sure that the messaging that is going out is relevant to everyone you are speaking to,” said Smith.
To help you, here is generational differences of today’s workforce.
Image credit: MTM Recognition