Each one of us sees the world from our own unique perspective. When we are part of a team, we bring that perspective to a team environment. Personality traits within a team can complement and build on each other, so leaders must recognize and learn to utilize personality differences in a complementary way.
When it comes to multiple generations, they come with their own unique perspective and personality traits as well. The Baby Boomers, “X” Generation, and Millennials all have to work together in the workplace while bringing their different perspective to the team. As a leader, you have to be able to understand these differences and manage accordingly.
The Baby Boomers: (1946-1964)
This is the generation of “anything is possible, ” and they are willing to work long and hard to ensure success. As a manager, you should acknowledge their experience (if applicable) and seek their counsel. When it comes to professional communication, this generation values socialization, so strike a balance between emails and face-to-face conversations. They are motivated by position, perks, and prestige, and they define themselves by their professional accomplishments.
The "X" Generation: (1965-1981)
The forgotten generation, born into an era where their parents had the highest divorce rates in history and are skeptical of authority and institutions. They place a high premium on efficiency, so do not waste their time. If applicable, Management should acknowledge their talents and expertise, and allow them as much flexibility as is feasible. Understand and honor their need for a balance between work and their personal lives, and use reason, rather than power, to direct their activities. When it comes to communication, rely more on technology and save meetings for issues that truly require face-to-face conversations. This generation is more collaborative, independent, and are good at dealing with change, so take advantage of this difference in work ethics and manage accordingly.
The Millennials: (1982-2002)
The largest generation in history and the generation of technology, Millennials grew up with multitasking, multimedia, and an unprecedented exposure to diversity and technology. Millennials want to be acknowledged for their talents and fresh perspective. They want their managers to be available when they need assistance, and they dislike non-approachable leadership. Encourage and embrace technology in the workplace. Because of their skills and knowledge in this area, Millennials are a valuable resource for getting work done more efficiently. Keep your communications short, clear, and direct then periodically follow up to ensure that your message was understood but make sure not to micro-manage. Although they are the younger generation in the workplace, show that you respect them and that they are a valued member of the team.
Having a team of multiple personalities and different generations creates an environment of growth and success within your organization. As a leader, it is your job to understand how to manage multiple generations in your business. Once you accomplish this management strategy, your employees will develop more loyalty to your business, and it will show in their performance.
With all the different generations and personalities in the workplace, it is important to understand that everyone is different. Take this personality quiz to discover how well you work with others: