by Jomel Alos
The workplace is continuously evolving into a more complex professional environment. Today, employees from different generations make up a dynamic workforce and at first glance, it may seem that managing your multigenerational team and making sure that they remain productive can be a challenge. Although this may be true to some extent, most people tend to overcomplicate the situation with stereotypes.
Forget the Labels
Stereotyping an employee based on their generational belonging has proven to be ineffective, unproductive and consequential. These labels are most often exaggerated as they are caused by assumptions rather than firsthand experiences.
To be more specific, an example would be how millennial and Gen Z employees are often criticized for being indifferent towards their older colleagues. They are often generalized in a negative way and described as entitled, selfish, and cocky.
While young employees do share several common characteristics and tendencies, these stereotypes and labels do not apply to the majority. Most of them are invalid since they’re rooted in stories, gossip and false information. Apart from the fact that stereotypes can influence your perception of millennial and Gen Z employees, they can also affect your working relationship making you not work so well, often in a negative way.
Just like with everybody else, for millennials and generation Z employees, entering the real world is not a walk in the park. It’s safe to say that everyone started out the same. There’s a point in everyone’s work life when they felt the uncertainty of being in a new world and would have to navigate their way around. Problems such as lack of productivity or motivation may arise, but this is normal and can be easily addressed with proper communication and training.
When absorbing younger employees into your company, it is best to keep your expectations at a minimum. Most, if not all, young employees lack certain competencies that can only be gained through years of professional experience. Empathizing with their inexperience and providing them with a strong sense of mentorship will allow fresh graduates to feel comfortable, making it easier for them to focus on their growth.
Make an effort to understand them deeper so that it’s easier for you to point out the things that can inspire and motivate them. Just like your older employees, they may also have specific needs to stay motivated and maintain job satisfaction.
In the bigger scheme of things, it is important to note that aside from how employees are treated in one-on-one encounters, company culture plays the biggest part in influencing one’s productivity. Employees tend to value an organization that provides a sense of belongingness through shared values and motives. And when they feel valued and appreciated, they will have a stronger desire to contribute to your company’s success and growth. This can also lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity, and according to research, happy employees perform better and have a higher chance of staying with the company.
Have a look at the more detailed infographic on how to keep Millennials productive. Keep in mind that these tips are also helpful in managing your Gen Z employees!
Photo: Simon Maage (Unsplash)