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Appreciate and Leverage the Diversity of Multi-Generational Teams
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Strengthen Multi-Generation Teamwork

If you’re like most businesses, your ability to foster teamwork is a lot harder than it used to be. Not too long ago, managers were struggling with managing four generations; today, they are juggling five generations. Generation Z, or iGen, has invaded the workplace, and while they share characteristics with several other generations, they are uniquely different and bring new challenges to leadership. Here are some tips to help you integrate Gen Z into your team and strengthen teamwork among all generations.

  • Encourage your employees to appreciate and leverage differences rather than treat them as sources of conflict. At every team meeting, discuss some aspect of work and have team members share their attitudes toward it. In this way, the entire team learns where each person is coming from.
  • Modify your leadership style for each generation’s preferences.
    • Traditional: Military, authoritative style, command and control
    • Baby Boomer: Collaborative style
    • Gen X: Laissez-faire, hands-off style
    • Gen Y: Mentoring, coaching style
    • Gen Z: Transformational style
  • Make team assignments that use people’s strengths and consider their preferences for working.
    • Traditional: Follow the rules, avoid change
    • Baby Boomers: Winning is everything
    • Gen X: Let me do it my way
    • Gen Y: Make me part of a team
    • Gen Z: Give me work that furthers my career
  • Know where their loyalty lies.
    • Traditional: The company
    • Baby Boomers: Advancement
    • Gen X: Their personal lives, families, friends
    • Gen Y: The team, fun
    • Gen Z: Advancement

When your team understands the different ways that each generation prefers to work, it is easier for them to accept their differences and work with each other to achieve greater productivity and less conflict.