Multigenerational leadership is a leadership skill that has become more important in recent years as more generations exist in the workforce than ever before. Understanding how to lead multigenerational teams that can work together and achieve excellence will be key to your organization’s success. Multigenerational leadership training helps leaders and managers in today’s companies and organizations learn to leverage the many strengths of their multigenerational teams to improve productivity, decrease turnover, and achieve excellence.
Conflict is an issue that leaders have to deal with all the time. Conflicts can arise based on personality, values or communication differences.
Often, when people think about multigenerational leadership, they think of conflict and stereotypes. Generational conflict is common in the workplace, as this is a space where multiple generations have to work together to perform in ways that are not common elsewhere in our lives. While everyone on the team is working toward achieving a common goal and mission, their ideas on how to get there and how to measure interim success varies greatly.
As the leader, help your team overlook generational stereotypes to overcome conflict and perform. In my experience, this often includes being flexible with my team, communicating expectations and goals in a variety of ways, and being open about new ways of thinking and doing things.
Multigenerational teams are more productive than mono-generational teams. The trick is (like leading any team) getting everyone to value each other’s strengths and communicate productively and collaboratively.
A survey conducted by CIPD found that 55% of employers and 66% of employees viewed knowledge-sharing as a benefit of working in a multigenerational workplace. Other top responses include having different perspectives, greater innovation, new ideas, improved problem-solving, and improved customer service. These findings highlight the key opportunity missed by mono-generational teams—the ability to share knowledge, perspectives, experience, and ideas to improve results and achieve goals.
Ageism is an issue that has become more prevalent over time, as older employees seek to stay in the the labor force later in their lives. While there are a variety of reasons for this, from financial necessity to social contact, studies are showing that employers are increasingly discriminating against older job candidates.
These employers are missing out on the experiences and leadership these potential employees have to offer. Many view younger employees as more productive and better able to multi-task, while also accepting lower salaries. But, older employees bring experience, emotional intelligence, relationship building, and management skills that many younger generations are still developing. They help strengthen a team’s leadership pipeline, not detract from it.
Employees want to feel as though they are part of an inclusive team. Reducing conflict, engaging team dynamics, and facilitating bi-mentoring programs are all great ways to improve team cohesion and encourage multigenerational collaboration.
Employee turnover has the potential to cost a lot of money, and studies show that these costs increase dramatically for higher-level positions (often held by your older generations). If you have not put in the time to develop a pipeline of talent that is ready to step up when these vacancies happen, your lack of multigenerational leadership is having a direct effect on your organization’s bottom line.
Team conflict, productivity, and turnover all have a direct impact on your company or organization’s bottom line. While there is no “silver bullet” to optimizing these impacts, multigenerational leadership skills help you make better decisions with your talent management and company policies and these decisions help move your team and your organization forward.