It is tougher to motivate and maintain than ever before. Our workplaces have more multi-generational teams than ever before. Team leaders must skillfully manage not only different personalities but multiple generations as well. When leading multi-generational teams, you may also have to manage what would appear to be competing agendas.
It is helpful, in my opinion, to try to develop some strategies to positively influence these multi-generational teams. Here are six (6) suggestions that will help to smooth gaps that may occur.
Here is my list:
- Ensure team diversity – During any restructuring, it should be cautionary that we should avoid the natural tendency to group team members who may be similar in age when restructuring. This would be a loss opportunity help various generations learn skills from the others. Most people agree that different experiences and backgrounds lead to different solutions or discussions.
- Individual motivators – Every team member probably has different motivators than other team members. Tis an important consideration because when we set goals and incentives, it is important to consider skills and motivators of each team member. It is important to avoid rifts between generational groups.
- Practicality – It’s important to define and set goals that are realistic for an entire group to meet. Although difficult, goals should not favor or appear more practical for one generational group over another. For example, one generational group may favor working longer hours to get a project done whereas a different generational team member may favor completing a project on the evening commute (not driving) on a tablet or other hand-held device. While another team member may favor completing the project on a home PC that is networked to the organization.
- Team activities – Most team behaviors include some unofficial socializing. Members that are close in age or share similar interests may arrange get-togethers. However, unintentionally the younger team members may not include the more senior members. One way to avoid this unintentional isolation is to organize periodic team activities that include all team members. There are a number of team building activities that can be scheduled. For example, you could host a “brown bag” lunch sessions to share some information, skill builders and tips that all members of the team could adopt to increase productivity. Depending on your organization’s culture, you could consider inviting significant others, spouses, or children to certain events.
- Change workstations placement – Ask the team if changing workstations around a bit would help them communicate more effectively. A small change like this could spark new conversations, create new friendships and prompt team members to communicate with those they wouldn’t otherwise.
- Encourage feedback – To avoid team members’ holding in frustrations that is followed by a huge blowout, encourage constant feedback about how things can be done better. You need to hear from team members about their reaction to any changes that have been made because some of them may require adjustments.
- Reverse mentoring – A carefully planned process of reverse mentoring could be helpful to the performance of your team. For example a senior team member could be asked to provide specific industry knowledge and soft skills training to less senior team members. Some of the less senior team members may be current on social media, software upgrades and other developments that may benefit more senior team members.
Please “Like” and share your comments. Additional training resources are located here.