A recent study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BSL) reported that about 25% of workers in the United States are age 55 and older. The BLS also noted that his demographic’s participation in the workforce is growing faster than that of any other age group.
Combine that with the fact that the average age of a first-time manager is 30 years old, and it’s easy to see why the need for managers to effectively communicate with multigenerational employees is greater than ever.
Age Diversity Can Make Communication Challenging
But just as with any other type of diversity, wide differences in age can also impact how clearly employees communicate with each other and how well they work together as a team. While most individual employees certainly do their best to perform their job duties effectively, it is still the manager’s responsibility to help multigenerational employees overcome age discrimination, gel as a team and get the job done.
Strategies for Managers
1. Address Age Discrimination and Model Inclusivity
Recognizing age discrimination in the workplace and addressing it directly is a good starting point for improving communication among multigenerational employees.
Every employee wants to feel that they are valued by their organization and that their contribution matters. Be proactive and make it a point to provide positive feedback to workers in every age group. Coach employees on how to communicate appropriately across the generation gap and make a conscious effort to avoid showing favoritism toward your own age group.
2. Create Opportunities for More Interaction
Age discrimination often stems from a lack of personal interaction with those from other age groups. But when people from different backgrounds get to know each other, they tend to get along better as they come to appreciate how much they have in common.
Creating opportunities for employees from different age groups to work together and also socialize together at company functions can help eliminate communication barriers and improve teamwork.
3. Adjust Your Own Communication Style
Make the effort to understand the different communication styles and preferences of your multigenerational employees. Many older employees may prefer face-to-face communication, while some of your younger employees might prefer digital communication methods.
You don’t want to make assumptions based on age alone and will have to get to know your employees more personally to understand their needs. But keep in mind that your own communication preferences aren’t going to be effective for everyone, so try to be flexible in your communication style.
Don’t let age differences create barriers to communication between you and your multigenerational employees. Follow these simple strategies to improve relationships and teamwork in your organization. And contact Point High Finance today to explore financing options needed to meet the evolving communication technology needs of your business.