For growing companies, hiring is often a complicated process and can be the cause of a lot of stress. Should your company hire a recent college graduate, or should you hire someone who has been in the workforce for a few years and has experience? Different teams will work better with some than others, so you need to make sure whomever you’re hiring will be a good fit.  You have to decide which will be better for your next hire: the energetic newcomer or the experienced veteran?

We now see more of a multigenerational workforce than ever before. A college education and the integration of technology have given the leg up to the younger generation to move ahead. There are now plenty of businesses where the younger generations of the workforce are leading the older generations, which is quite different from the workplace that the “boomer” generation had originally entered.

While there are of course exceptions, generations tend to share core values and beliefs. Important habits and characteristics that are important to one generation may not hold the same weight with others. This comes heavily into play in the workplace. While these differences in the generations can be useful when coordinated properly, they can also be hazardous. Generations can have trouble working with each other, as they may have different expectations and methods that will clash.

There are three trends that help to shape generations: parenting, technology, and economics. Depending on how they’re classified, the current workforce is made up of four or five generations. Each of these generations has their own characteristics and traits that form both their strengths and weaknesses.

Generation: Year born Silent Generation: Born 1922 – 1945 Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964 Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976 Millennials, Gen Y: Born 1977 – 1995 Gen Z, Centennials: Born 1996 – 2015
Traits, characteristics and stereotypes old-fashioned, practical, rule followers ambitious, optimistic   self-centered, risk takers, cynical   job hoppers, tech-dependent, work to live   constantly connected, distracted, apathetic, multitaskers
Preferences, styles, perspectives, and work ethic discipline, hard work, loyalty question authority, self-centered   task-oriented, autonomous   eagerness, “what’s next?” attitude flexible, self-reliant  

How can you make sure that your multigenerational workforce is working in harmony?

  1. Ensure Mutual Respect

One thing that unites all the generations is their wish for respect. The older generations want to be respected for their experience, and the younger generations crave respect for their technological savvy and deep understanding of upcoming tech markets. As the boss, it is your responsibility that all your employees see the value in each other and offer the respect that is deserved.

  • Avoid Generalizing the Generations

While we can make accurate assumptions about people based on their generations, relying on these stereotypes does not create a healthy workplace. Overall, we must remember that people are individuals and everyone is different, so keep yourself and your employees open and receptive. Make sure that no one is being held in a one- size-fits-all mold.

  • Encourage Synergy

It’s one of the most cliché workplace suggestions, but it still rings true. Make sure that everyone is learning from each other and working together. Help them realize that they all have something to learn from each other. The “Boomer” will have invaluable experience, while the “Millennial” will have a more intuitive sense of technology – together they can make a powerful team.

  • Make Sure Everyone Understands the Office Communication System

One of the biggest generational divides comes in the form of office communications. Boomers and the older generations tend to gravitate towards meetings, written notes and phone calls, while the younger generations work better with group chats and Direct Messages (DMs). Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but the main takeaway is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Use a blend of communications systems that makes everyone happy and doesn’t leave anyone out of the loop.

  • Don’t Focus on the Differences

Make sure that your workplace is putting more focus on the similarities between the generations and not the differences. Focusing on similarities gives the generations something more positive to bond over. Focusing on the differences can create a negative workplace atmosphere that promotes animosity, which is certainly not conducive to a healthy workplace.

If you manage your team correctly, they will work better, not in spite of the generational divide but because of the generational divide. Let them see that the experience of older workers and the energy of the younger generations can be powerful when working together. Right now, there are people working together who could have been born more than 50 years apart – which leaves a lot of room for potential creativity and innovation!

Contact us to learn more about how our expert personalized service can let you get back to focusing on your business goals. Work with a leader in the industry for outsourced Human Resources and Payroll functions associated with W-2 contingent workers. Get the benefits of hiring contingent workers without the potential risks. Let ClearPath be the path to your peace of mind. For more information you can contact them through their website.