Toronto,ON. – The workplace fabric has changed over the past few years, resulting in noticeable generational differences in the office. Workplaces are now multigenerational environments with employee ages ranging from 16 to 60+, with each group having their own perceptions, understanding, and work ethics.
A recent survey shows that 34% of workers say their current boss is younger than they are and 15% say they work for someone who is at least ten years younger. With such dramatic changes in office environments, TorontoJobs.ca has compiled a list of tips to help close the generational gap.
Five Ways to Minimize Generational Differences in the Workplace:
- Focus on Commonalities. Take time to get to know co-workers as individuals rather than age group. A positive outlook always helps make situations better. Focus on similarities and commonalities that can be found in colleagues; it is completely normal to acknowledge differences, but embracing diversity can strengthen an organization.
- Be Open to Change. Age-diverse workforces could result in improved collaboration, creativity and problem-solving, yet generation gaps seem to highlight differences in communication styles and preferences. One reason for this is differing experiences and technologies. Varying levels of comfort with technology can lead to negative impacts of the work environment, so be open to change and ask questions.
- Be Curious. In an extension to the previous point, younger workers need to ask questions and use the older generation as a resource. Asking questions about why the company does things a certain way or how something works, can help develop a better grasp on the bigger picture and help to streamline productivity.
- Avoid Characterizations Based on Age. Disagreements are bound to arise, so if faced with one with a colleague of a different age group, try to focus on the technical or the work issue, instead of getting hung up on the generation gap. Avoid thinking that the person holds that view simply because of his or her age.
Be Understanding about Different Working Styles. Not everyone has the same work ethic or styles. Be open to the idea that others might excel in different environments, for example, listening to music while working. Everyone has different preferences.