Leading Intergenerational Teams Essay

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Leading Intergenerational Teams

Workspace demographics now span four generations. A twenty-something hired this year can expect to find that they working with colleagues who are older than they are by fifty or more years. The reason for this is primarily due to labor shortages for trained personnel in many industries. In addition, many older workers are now delaying retirement due for economic or other reasons. Many of the baby boomer generation can now be expected to delay retirement into their seventies. (Randstad USA)

As you will learn, an inter-generational workforce provides many opportunities and challenges. While generational differences can and do lead to frustration, conflicts and poor morale, they do not have to. This
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Six Principles for Managing Generations Successfully

In the book Connecting Generations, Claire Raines provides the following helpful insights on managing generations.

1. Keep the conversation going. Encourage discussion about generational differences with your team. Individuals often make judgments about each other without realizing those judgments are generational in nature. Getting the issues into the open make them become less personalized and more generalized. 2. Determine what they need and want. Many people assume that all people share the same desires and therefore often project their preferences onto others. The only ways to know for certain what someone else’s needs are is to ask! 3. Offer options. Each generation will have different preferences with regards to benefits, working hours, and tasks. Offer as many choices as possible to suit the needs and preferences of a diverse workforce. 4. Personalize your leadership style. Learn about the preferences of your team and find creative ways to meet their expectations. 5. Build on the strengths of the team. The best inter-generational teams recognize the strengths of each individual. Encourage individuals to capitalize on their unique traits rather than trying to blend in with the rest of the team. 6. Pursue different
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