Lazy, technology-addicted, and overly sensitive are often tied to the millennial generation, but the Pew Research Center estimates that 56 million of those born between 1981 and 1996 are working or currently looking for work, making them the biggest generation in the U.S. labor force at the moment.
So how do baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials work together in harmony? Communication between groups must begin with establishing a common understanding, not honing in on differences. Traditional work practices, technology, and cultural differences between generations aren’t as prominent as they seem. Instead, these factors should serve as a uniting force for employees of all ages.
Millennials have had technology ingrained in their day-to-day for the majority of their lives, but all age demographics are quickly adapting to these advancements, as it was intended.
Although older generations can see technology as counterproductive, they are a great tool to work remotely and give employees a chance to solve problems at any moment. Smartphones, tablets, and other on-the-go devices tied to cloud storage are changing the entire dynamic of the workplace.
Workplaces are moving to become as efficient as they are customizable. Companies are using user-friendly messaging tools such as Slack to boost communication among employees. Apps like this allow users to create specific threads, use hashtags to find discussions and files, and create collaborative documents.
“Another key component in uniting a cross-generational workforce begins with reassigning purpose to the workplace through effective interior architecture and design, which helps to facilitate the successful adoption of new systems by all employees,” according to Drew Carter, the Currents Studio Director at H. Hendy Associates.
In order to fully rectify the divide between generations in the workplace starts with management. Empowering all employees to bring their creativity to the table and collaborate with colleagues gives everyone a chance to feed off of each other’s unique experiences.
Management should also make sure each employee is engaged and has a full understanding of new technologies that come through the job by offering adequate training and a chance to ask questions.