We have observed that millennials have their own unique traits, behaviors, priorities and their own set of work challenges. But older generations, who are more set in their ways, may be less accepting, even with the understanding that innovation, technology and change are inevitable to sustain progress. Personal biases, work style preferences, stuck behaviors and lack of clear work boundaries add on to multi-generation conflicts.
But once we understand each generation’s uniqueness, it is easier to respect diversity and adjust to a variety of work styles promoting fluidity of interdepartment and multilevel work process flow. And of course, once this adjustment is done, millennials will likely stay on and continue with the company.
We asked Anna Esperanza, who has researched on, and worked with millennials, for some tips about this topic. She will be conducting a workshop titled “Multi-Generation Workforce Management: Bridging Work Styles Across A Diverse Workforce” at the Inquirer Academy on May 25.
Millennials are acquiring leadership roles sooner, and at a younger age compared to other generations. But 60 percent of millennials are expected to leave their current employer within two to three years. This creates alarming concerns: loss of knowledge, reduced productivity, higher recruitment and training costs and succession gaps. To bridge the gap between generations ensures continuity of leadership and progress. The current leaders of the organization must understand how the presence of millennials changes work dynamics and organizational culture.
Mature generations should endeavor to mold and empower the youth. Know that there is continuity of life, leadership and progress.
2. Trust and transparency
Covey teaches the value of operating on the level of trust. Teams shouldn’t second guess one another. They should freely work on their assigned work task knowing that there is continuity of work, within and with their cross functional departments.
To operate on trust, team members must consistently practice transparency at work by uncovering competing and complementing values and priorities and sharing both the positive and negative outcomes—knowing that the goal is to help each other both personally and professionally.
3. Embrace diversity and open communication
An organization can practice open communication and embrace diversity by doing the following: (1) Find a balance addressing the teams’ core human and “generation” needs while driving to attain financial business goals; (2) Define cross generational values, acceptable work styles and incorporate them within the culture of the organization; and (3) Practice flexibility to the constantly changing internal and external work environment.
If all team levels of the organization are aligned, it ensures leadership succession and sustainability of the business. A process that can only happen if leaders and team members alike are all open minded to diversity and change, and committed to contribute.
The next step is to cultivate everyday employee engagement that is anchored on incorporating multiple team members’ perspectives. Then increase team engagement by promoting shared responsibility through inclusive leadership. When we lead without a title and respect equality, it fosters growth in every level of the organization. Team members have a sense of task ownership and belonging.
Anna Esperanza, an organizational development consultant and US Licensed Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, will conduct a workshop titled “Multi-Generation Workforce Management: Bridging Work Styles Across A Diverse Workforce” on May 25, 2017.
The workshop will be beneficial to human resource practitioners and managers of corporations employing a diverse age group of employees. Aside from understanding differences in motivations and leadership styles, the workshop will help participants plan sustainable employment programs to address generation gaps and build an inclusive culture.