Did you know that for the first time in history, there are five generations in the workforce?
This change comes with some challenges, but a lot of opportunity, depending on how you approach this unique time in history.
You may have noticed that your department or team looks a bit different than it did 5, 10 or 15 years ago.
Here are the generations in the labor force today:
Some other interesting statistics:
By 2022, Gen Z will make up nearly 25% of the global workforce
86% of employees cite poor collaboration and communication for workplace failure
Mentorship most appeals to those 21-25 and 50+
See more stats and tips around your changing workforce in our guide.
With five generations in the workforce, there is bound to be a mixing of work and communication styles, even how each approaches work. And although your mind may go first to how these groups are different, let’s take a look at what unites each group so we can use that common ground as a jumping-off point.
There are commonalities that align each of the generations together – and it’s key to find and use those things to bring teams together, too.
We can all agree that we want to be respected and listened to. We want to know that our voice is heard and that we are an important part of our team at work.
Especially today, the need to work in a respectful work culture is more important for many than the amount of their paycheck. Respect is also core to team morale.
Although we all have unique communication styles, communication is something that we all need. It can also mean the difference between harmony and conflict in a workplace. Most of us crave dialogue in one way or another and want to build good relationships. And our place or work is a great place to stretch our communication muscles.
We all want to know what we’re working toward and why. Understanding the big picture of the impact of our work, individually and as a team, is another value that aligns many of us. In fact, most people join a team or workplace because they have a common goal or skill, which makes sense why they want to be assured of achieving that goal. These common goals or skills also align your team and help them find commonalities with each other.
Whether we’re in the place of being a mentor or a mentee, we all benefit from both learning and teaching.
In other words, we all have something to share or to learn from our unique education, work and life experiences. Growth comes from when we are able to share those things with others, all while improving ourselves, too.
On that note, mentoring is a great way to help a multi-generational team come together. Have each team member embrace being the mentee or mentor to share their technical, communication or other skills.
Whether it’s a team-wide lunch and learn or pairing specific people together on a project, everyone should have the chance to be on both sides of learning and teaching to the benefit of the team, department and organization.
Finding the common ground within your team is a great place to start with helping employees across generations grow and learn together.