Are generational differences in the workplace stressing you out? Does it feel like you are constantly in a state of culture change with new Millennial employees joining your teams, as the Baby Boomers and Traditionalists begin to retire? Does it feel like the differences between generations are causing roadblocks toward building a successful team, because the generations just can’t seem to get along?
We have often found ourselves debunking issues revolving around generational differences in the workplace. Operant Leadership and ABA Technologies, Inc. have team members from across many different generations working side by side every day. But how do we do it, you ask? By treating employees as individuals, and not simply characters that the media portrays!
In this new infographic from Operant Leadership, we provide a new viewpoint of generational differences from a behavioral science perspective, which tosses aside the idea that Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists are anything but potentially harmful stereotypes that impede the growth of any organization. This way of thinking is what allows our teams to push past our differences and thrive, no matter who is working together.
We boil down generational differences into three main buckets:
- Different learning histories. Each generation, and individuals within each generation, have completely different learning histories that influence their behavior. Major historical events, influential people, and culture all influence every person differently, within and beyond a generational label.
- Different strengths and weaknesses. Because of the technology, economy, and other factors influencing people in their formative years, different generations tend to have different skill sets than others. For example, many Millennials (but mind you, not all) are very skilled with technology because of the rise of high tech devices during their formative years. Traditionalists, who may not be as well acquainted with such technology, often have greater skill in craftsmanship, having less technology and more hands-on work during their lifetime.
- Different definitions of supposedly “common” terms. Language is constantly morphing and changing, and how each individual defines crucial terminology may not be the same across different age groups. Respect and hard work may be two examples that, if misconstrued between two colleagues, may lead to poor outcomes.
The infographic also emphasizes strategies to combat these issues, which primarily focuses on clear communication of preferences, reinforcers, and feedback between supervisors and their employees, in addition to other strategies that can reduce turnover, increase employee engagement, improve employee performance, and create a happier workplace.
Check out the infographic below, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help implementing any of these strategies in your workplace!