Leveraging the Strengths of Cross Generational Teams by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
In todays business world, it is common to have a diverse group of team members. Not only will you find that you have people of many cultures, ethnicities and beliefs, but you will likely also employ a wide range of ages of employees, as well. Though you may take this fact for granted, you may not be leveraging the benefits you can gain from having cross generational teams in your workforce. Here are some benefits to putting people of different ages together for the purposes of work.
1. Younger team members may be more tech savvy. As new technology rolls into the workplace, it is likely that you will find that younger team members embrace and understand the technology more readily than older counterparts. Use this natural technology bent to have younger employees help others learn and integrate new products and applications.
2. Let more experienced employees help younger ones establish routines and organizational skills. With time, most employees become more organized and efficient, with better time management and follow up skills. Let these employees work with those just out of college employees who may have more trouble staying organized while juggling multiple priorities.
3. Brainstorm for multiple perspectives. Age changes perspective on many things. When you need to really look at a problem from all angles, create a brainstorming team that is cross generational. Youll generate many more ideas by looking at the problem from so many different perspectives. This is particularly important when you are discussing an item related to how consumers will perceive a product, since it is likely that your customer base will be made up of a wide range of ages, as well.
4. Create good working relationships. You may initially think that camaraderie will be more easily established with teams that are close in age. However, teams that are made up of a wider range of ages and cultural backgrounds may have more harmony. Like families, close teams are established through multiple perspectives and embracing differences as well as similarities.
When creating your work teams, dont be afraid to mix it up. You may find that by doing so you have more ideas floating around for how to improve productivity and be more successful. You may also find that some of the closest working relationships among your staff come from those who are one or even two generations apart.