Project Management

Why Projects Profit from Multi-Generational Teams

Contrary to popular belief, the multi-generational workforce is not a problem, but rather an opportunity just waiting to be capitalized on. In a post for The Lazy Project Manager’s Blog, Peter Taylor elaborates on how to build a multi-generational workforce fit for any task.

Drawing on a Spectrum of Experience

When it comes to multi-generational teams, there are a few assumed problems that need to be gotten over:

  1. Communication
  2. Management interaction
  3. Achieving objectives

The older workers are more inclined to prefer face-to-face communications, whereas the newly hired, younger people tend to preference seemingly less formal methods, such as email. It is important to keep in mind that neither generation is right; it may simply boil down to how they were taught to communicate in their educational training. Along this same line of communication, younger generations are often perceived as “needy” because they constantly want feedback from their superiors. They tend to do better with a little encouragement and active engagement of conversations with their boss. There exists a gap in achieving objectives. The older generation is far more comfortable working their 40 hours and then more because they are work-centric. The younger people value more than just work and seek a balanced work and home life.

The issues of communication are more easily resolved, because with the changing technology, everyone is pushing towards an environment more online. The work ethic assumptions are a little more arduous to overcome. There are a few ways to encourage a better acceptance of differences and work collectively as a team:

  1. Be aware.
  2. Be open.
  3. Be creative.
  4. Be a leader.

First, you need to acknowledge that differences exist and be as educated about them as possible. It is equally as important to encourage communication about concerns in an open, friendly environment. This diversity does not need to be the end of a team; there are creative endeavors that can be profited from. Finally, be the leader that encourages everyone. If everyone thought the same way, there would be no push towards innovation. Differences enhance, not deter.

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