Nearly all modern organizations have significant diversity. Think about how many different skills and backgrounds are involved in bringing your product or service to the end-user. 

You need people to develop new offerings. You need people to make your business processes work. You even need people to find other people to join your organization. Each one of these tasks takes a different set of skills.

That’s skill diversity, but there are also many other different kinds. I’d like to talk here about age diversity — and how it gets individuals to think about the big picture together.

Generational Diversity Is Just as Important as Skill Diversity

If you’re in corporate leadership these days, it’s likely that you’re working with generationally diverse groups. This is one of the biggest challenges contemporary leaders face.

The truth is that it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Generations work together naturally when they’re pursuing a common vision of success. More than that, you need generational diversity to secure the long-term success of your organization.

Coexisting or Cooperating? Getting People To Think About Where You’re Headed

Generational diversity helps people think about the future. Experienced team members can imagine their skills being carried forward by the next generations. Younger workers can see an example of what it means to be successful in their respective fields — and in your organization, specifically. 

Before they can start thinking about the future together, individuals need to focus on what brings them together in the present. As a leader, one of the best ways you can do this is by leading with culture.

Each generation tends to display different values and perspectives. To turn that into a positive thing, place it within the unique culture of your organization. 

Individuals who value your workplace culture will use their generational traits to support your vision. More importantly, they should recognize that members of the other generations are doing the same thing — albeit in their own way.

If you have focused on culture and the message still does not seem to be getting across, it might be because there isn’t enough interaction between the different generations. Consider using mentorship structures or complex collaborative teams to get people in a face-to-face setting. 

Leading Within the New Multi-Generational Corporate Reality

People are staying at work later into their lives. There are flatter organizational structures that put younger and older people on the same task more often. Maybe you’re even actively facilitating diversity.

Regardless of the reasons, age diversity has increased. It’s normal to have three or four generations coexisting in the workplace. Coexisting is one thing, but using culture to draw out the positive impacts of diversity can help you get your multigenerational team to truly cooperate. Practice leading with culture, and you should see people starting to think about your organization’s success over the long term.