Thank you to HR Guru Kathleen Smith, who brought this post to our attention! It's a guest post on SmartBlog on Workforce by Larry and Meagan Johnson, a father-daughter team behind Johnson Training Group, whose clients include several government agencies, American Express, Harley-Davidson, Nordstrom, Dairy Queen. They are co-authors of “Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters — Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work.”
The Johnsons give 6 tips for resolving intergenerational conflict in the workforce. Here are my 2 favorites:
Find commonality and complements. When we study generations, some common and complementary characteristics emerge — and these can be exploited when dealing with conflict between them. For instance, Traditionals and Generation Y employees both tend to value security and stability. Traditionals and Boomers tend to resist change–but both crave training and development. Gen X and Gen Y employees place a high value on workplace flexibility and work-life balance. Boomers and Linksters are most comfortable with diversity and alternative lifestyles. Gen Y and Linksters are technologically adept and committed to socially responsible policies.Learn from each other. Each generation has valuable lessons to teach the next. For example, Traditionals and Boomers have a wealth of knowledge and tricks of the trade that younger workers need. Generation X employees are widely known for their fairness and mediation abilities. Generation Y workers are technology wizards. And Linksters hold clues to future workplace, marketing, and business trends.So often we focus on the differences, when the key is really to learn how we balance one another's unique attributes, then focus on solving our team's problems together.
What would you add?