7 key strategies for managing multi-generation teams

Feb. 4, 2016
It's crucial to pay attention and address the very different perceptions of work and life that characterize each generation of a whole team.

Many organizations today employ a mix of varying generations of individuals, each of which has been shaped by shared life experiences, said Terry Taylor of Global Genesis during a previous ABB Automation and Power World event.

The workforce is continually changing, and working with and/or managing a multi-generational team is a struggle many have to deal with more than ever before.

In these increasingly common situations, Taylor explained it's crucial to pay attention and address the very different perceptions of work and life that characterize each generation of a whole team. "When working with a multi-generational team you have to ask yourself: 'How do you know what you notice is true? Or is it maybe just a perception?' Different generations perceive and act differently."

Taylor added there are seven key strategies that can help when managing multi-generation teams. These strategies include the following: 

    1. Respect and accommodate difference when practical and possible, but don't be trapped by them.

    2. Balance generational differences by respecting commonalities.

    3. Be aware of team members' personal generational patterns and biases and keep them from getting in the way of supporting team members.

    4. Establish team rules that help guide cross-generation interactions and try to acknowledge and understand those differences.

    5. Match team challenges and tasks to members with the appropriate mix of abilities and experience.

    6. Develop and manage multi-mode means of communications.

    7. Develop each team member's understanding of the work styles of members from other generations and how they define respect, feeling valued and motivated.

To learn more, such as the four different generations making up the current workforce, check out this original article from the ABB Automation and Power World event. Several industry leaders explain how being successful when working with multi-generational teams is increasingly crucial of engineers, technicians and other industrial professionals.

Homepage image courtesy of smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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