These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the generational divide. Differences between millennials, baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Z are hotly discussed in the news and in our personal lives. How do these perceived differences manifest themselves in the workplace? Despite what you might read online, employees are happy to work collaboratively with people from different generations. Fortunately, there is much less of a divide than some media outlets would lead us to believe.
What is the generational divide?
The generational divide is a term used to describe the perceived differences between generations. These differences are mainly in political, social and personal values, ideas and beliefs. The years when people grow up has a big influence on their personal development, leading to some differences in the way people perceive and interact with the world around them. While there is certainly evidence to support some measurable distinctions between the values and opinions of people based on their age, the generational divide doesn’t show up in the workplace as much as people would assume.
The truth about generational differences in the workplace
Surveys of workers in the U.S. reveal that generational differences are not causing issues in most workplaces. In fact, despite supposed differences, most workers across generations report that they are aligned with the core values and beliefs of their employer. Additionally, most workers feel positive about working with people from different generations. They feel that there are many benefits of having a diverse team of employees from different generations in the workplace.
Older workers benefit from the new ideas and innovative strategies younger workers often demonstrate. Younger workers learn from the experience and first-hand knowledge that older workers have to offer. A balance of workers from different generations improves work environments and leads to improved conditions and better productivity for everyone.
Finding a generationally diverse workplace
Working somewhere with generational diversity can make you feel more comfortable and help you perform better at your job. To find an employer with age diversity, follow a few basic tips:
- Do your homework: Pay attention to the environment when you visit a workplace and ask key questions during the interview to gauge whether a company values generational diversity. Ask your prospective employer whether they employ people from many different generations to get a better idea of what to expect from a workplace.
- Get to know your coworkers: People naturally gravitate towards people in their generation, so you have to be intentional if you want to get the most out of an intergenerational workplace. Make a point to get to know all of your coworkers – not just the ones who are your age – and ask a lot of questions. You’ll be amazed at how much value your experienced coworkers have to offer as you work on projects and solve problems.
- Be inclusive: Even companies with a diverse workforce often have work environments that aren’t inclusive for people of different generations. Seek collaboration and avoid only talking to people your own age.
The generational divide is complicated, but it doesn’t have to negatively impact workplaces. With the right mindset, you can benefit greatly from working with people from different generations.
No matter your generation, we can help you find your future. Check out the job opportunities available through Award Staffing today!