The workplace is more complex than ever before because of the different generations working together. It’s vital for leaders to understand that we do have this multigenerational component. They must customize the way that they lead to meet the needs of each specific generation because they are different.
Follow these guidelines for effectively engaging the Millennials and Generation Zers in your workplace:
Practice active listening.
Use active listening to ensure employees of the younger generations feel heard and that they know their input is important to your organization. Active listening is a great tool to validate and empower employees, and it also helps strengthen your relationships and build trust with them.
Get to the ‘why.’
The younger generations have more questions and are more comfortable seeking answers. Millennials and Gen Zers are much more likely to respect a robust response to “why” than they are an authoritarian request.
Assign more team projects.
Assign work in a way that more gets accomplished by teams as opposed to just individual employees. Encourage in-person collaboration wherever possible. If employees are remote, encourage the use of platforms that can facilitate conference calls, video chat, and other features that promote relational collaborating.
Work is traditionally a place where building relationships will help prevent isolation and loneliness. But, with the shift in today’s work environment toward artificial intelligence, remote workplaces, and more flexibility where people aren’t always together, leaders are going to face challenges, especially for the youngest generations, in terms of building those relationships, eliminating isolation and loneliness, and creating healthy employees. The healthiest, most robust relationships employees are likely to have are going to be the ones they have at work. As a leader, make sure you’re creating the conditions where people can connect and engage.
Managers must understand that the need for social connection, to work in a relational environment, is the same for all of the generations. When leaders create a work environment where people can connect and engage with each other, those benefits cut across generations because the brain is going to respond positively to those conditions regardless of generation.
- In today’s environment of labor scarcity, it’s vital for leaders to understand the workplace conditions that employees from each generation work best in and know how to meet those needs.
- Millennials and Gen Zers have more questions than Boomers and Gen X when it comes to their work, so it’s essential for leaders to provide open and honest answers as opposed to authoritarian responses.
- Use active listening and encourage teamwork to more effectively engage Millennials and Gen Zers in your organization.
If you would like more information on overcoming the stereotypes of Millennials and Gen Z, as well as effective ways to lead a multigenerational workforce, be sure to listen to our latest episode of Thrive By Design: The Podcast.