It’s become clear in recent years that organizations need more than a roadmap for success. They also need a plan to bounce back from whatever challenges that their environment presents them.

In that way, leading a business is a lot like playing a round of golf. You have to have an idea of what will result in success. However, when your shot lands in the rough (because of the wind, of course) you have to be able to get back in the game and play through the rest of the hole in order to finish the course.

What Is Resilience in a Multi-Generational Workforce?

Resilience in the multi-generational workforce has some nuances that are specific to this type of diverse environment. The main one has to do with culture.

You have probably worked hard to reinforce organizational culture over generational stereotypes if you have a generationally diverse team. Culture can be an important tool to help you achieve this, but generational differences are likely to remain a stress point.

Resilience in this sense can mean general resilience — getting back in the game with things get tough — but it can also mean resistance to falling back on generational behavior patterns. The more resistance to a culture you have built, the easier it will be for people to stick with it.

Mentoring To Build Skills

One of the things that will bring your team through adversity is a skill. Just like in golf, you have to both be able to see the shot and be able to make it in order to succeed. And, while there are many ways to increase skill levels in your organization, one of your first choices in terms of resilience is using a mentoring program.

Mentoring programs increase the resilience of your organization in two ways. The first is through their primary function — transferring knowledge and skill. When the going gets tough, your team will be able to depend on these skills and this knowledge.

The second benefit is mentoring’s ability to strengthen the intergenerational relationships within your organization. These relationships can establish pathways for overcoming challenges as well as foster the types of culture-based understanding that your multigenerational team needs to stick together when under stress.

Listening and Empathy To Increase Engagement

Another factor in resilience will be your team’s engagement with the company culture and with their respective roles. These can be difficult things to assess and improve, but your soft skills will help. Listening to your team should help you identify whether or not they feel fulfilled in their positions. In fact, sometimes all people really need to feel more engaged is someone in a leadership position who is willing to listen.

Empathy is also an important soft skill to practice when leading a multi-generational workforce. As an individual, you are obviously only a member of one generation. You will need to practice empathy in order to see the organization from the perspective of people with other generational default behaviors and perceptions.

Becoming an effective leader of a multi-generational team takes practice. Are you ready to develop the leadership skills necessary to guide your team through the next big challenge?