Generationally diverse teams drive innovation and perform better, especially in challenging situations – and you want that kind of flexibility for your team. However, when it comes to creating and leading a cohesive team, increasing generationally diverse teams may have its own set of challenges.
Diversity is key to your culture and should be part of your first impression and central to everything you do. Most organizations use a function-based hiring process. From the job advertisement to the training sessions, the message is more about how to do things correctly than it is about how to do the right thing. If you value generational diversity, show it from the beginning, such as:
· Using a diverse team during the hiring process
· Actively listen to feedback
· Helping members of your leadership team get directly involved with new hires
If you’re pivoting to a more diverse and inclusive culture, you may have some challenges ahead of you, which may come from your existing team members when it comes to:
· Integrating previous team members with your new additions, and
· Helping people express diverse viewpoints they may have been suppressing
If you’re focusing on hiring to increase diversity, your new hires are your ambassadors and are in the best position to lead your cultural shift.
Inclusivity goes beyond tolerance. Let people know their unique viewpoints and experiences are essential parts of their roles in your organization. Show everyone — even your veterans — how much you value diversity. There’s nothing wrong with hosting a company event to get everyone to grow together and appreciate each other.
Mentorships are the foundation of a generationally diverse workplace. They build relationships, transmit ideas, and reinforce a culture of inclusion. I’ve seen them work in every type of organization.
Mentor programs go beyond older people teaching younger people. Part of leading with diversity is recognizing everyone has something to share. Everyone has a unique set of experiences and skills that can enrich others.
Mentorship plays a key role in promoting a positive attitude toward an age-diverse work environment and informs the value workers see in having a multigenerational workforce.
Creating an Inclusive Environment to Maximize the Potential of Multigenerational Diversity
Sometimes, it’s easy to feel disconnected as a leader and feel like your challenges are all your own. However, remember – your team members are there with you, even if they aren’t a large part of your daily life.
As a leader, you might focus your efforts more on vision, strategy, and doing tasks only you can do. When it comes to the day-to-day experience of your new multi-generational hires, you can work towards creating an environment that encourages them to take responsibility for themselves — and for the success of your organization.
Are you willing to hire and lead a multigenerational workforce to match your business needs?