The Age of the Multi-Generational Company: What You Need to Know

Modern workplaces are increasingly becoming a melting pot of multiple generations, whose workforces contain all manner of individuals from seasoned veterans to fresh-faced Gen Z-ers. This diversity presents both an exciting opportunity and a complex challenge for company leaders. Being able to work effectively in and manage a multi-generational team requires more than just traditional management skills and other workplace skills; handling and being part of such a team requires a nuanced understanding of the varying needs, expectations, and work styles that each generation brings to the table.

In the Philippines, a country where community and cooperation are deeply ingrained in the social fabric, these generational dynamics can be especially tricky to navigate. The Filipino workplace often reflects the country’s most closely held values, such as a strong sense of respect for elders and a community-oriented approach to work. However, beneath this idyllically harmonious surface, there can be stark differences in values and work ethics across generations. Younger employees might prioritize innovation and digital savviness in their work style, for instance, while their older counterparts may value tradition and stability. Both junior and senior members of the team must acknowledge and bridge these differences if they want to work towards building a cohesive and productive multi-generational team.

These days, if an applicant is to go through job hiring in Manila and other big urban centers in the Philippines, it’s to be expected that they’ll be working with individuals of differing generations. This article aims to delve into effective strategies for being part of and managing such a workforce. And without resorting to an exhaustive analysis of each generational trait, it will offer practical advice to help business leaders and managers, in particular, cultivate an environment that celebrates generational diversity.

1) Team Members Must Recognize and Respect Each Other’s Differences

A multi-generational workforce can function at its best in an environment that acknowledges and even values its many differences. While respect for one’s elders is a cultural norm in the Philippines, it’s especially crucial to ensure that this respect is mutual and extends across all age groups in the workplace. If you lead such a group, you can set a positive example by valuing the fresh, innovative perspectives of younger employees as much as the wisdom and experience of older colleagues.

However, respecting differences also involves actively working to challenge and dismantle harmful generational stereotypes. The idea that older workers are resistant to change or that younger employees lack a strong work ethic are some examples of generational stereotypes that can create divisions and hinder collaboration.

Encourage open dialogue and create opportunities for team members to learn from each other’s strengths. For instance, reverse mentoring programs, where younger employees guide their older counterparts in areas like technology, can be a powerful tool for breaking down generational barriers and brokering mutual respect between two parties that have much to learn from each other.

2) Team Members Must Be Flexible About Communication

Effective communication is key in any team, but it can be challenging to keep up in a multi-generational group. That’s because different generations often have distinct preferences and comfort levels with various forms of communication. Younger workers in the Philippines may be inclined towards digital communication platforms like instant messaging or social media, while older generations might prefer more traditional methods such as face-to-face meetings or phone calls.

Adapting your team’s communication style to suit these preferences can significantly improve the team’s cohesion and productivity. Try using a mix of communication channels toensure that no one feels left out or overwhelmed.

Also consider holding training sessions to introduce and familiarize employees with different communication tools, as dedicated support can help bridge the digital divide. If you can create a balance where everyone feels heard and comfortable in expressing their ideas and concerns, you’ll be able to build a more inclusive and collaborative working environment for your team.

3) Team Leaders Should Provide More Inclusive Benefits

To support a multi-generational workforce effectively, you’ll also need to relinquish a traditional one-size-fits-all approach to employee benefits. Perks like parental leaves and fertility benefits might seem appropriate in a family-oriented culture like that of the Philippines, but the reality is that these benefits may not accurately reflect the priorities of your whole workforce. Employees without families may still have non-traditional caregiving responsibilities such as looking after pets, for instance, and they’ll surely appreciate paid time off to attend to these.

The effort to incorporate a range of benefits that address the diverse needs of different age groups shows that you understand and care about your employees’ unique circumstances. This effort, in turn, is likely to encourage a sense of belonging and greater loyalty among your employees. It’s also in your best interest to regularly review and update these benefits, perhaps through annual surveys or feedback sessions, to ensure that they remain relevant and appreciated by all.

4) Team Members Should Solicit and Act on Feedback

A workspace where every generation feels valued and heard is essential for managing a multi-generational team. Hierarchical structures and ways of thinking can often dominate at organizations in the Philippines, particularly in large and established companies. You can help dismantle these by opening up feedback channels that employees at all levels can access.

There are a number of different feedback mechanisms you can establish, depending on your team and the culture at your organization. Some of these include suggestion boxes, employee surveys, or town hall meetings, where employees from different generations can voice their opinions.

Get your employees to share their ideas and concerns and, more importantly, act on the feedback you receive. Once your team sees that you take their input seriously, they’re likely to be more engaged at work and happier with their work lives overall.

5) Team Managers Should Avoid Favoritism

In any workplace, but especially in one that’s diverse and multi-generational, it’s important for managers and other senior-level staffto avoid favoritism and manage all employees impartially. Favoritism, or even the perception of it, breeds resentment and reduces morale, which can lead to a toxic work environment over time.

As someone who’s been called to lead a multi-generational team, it’s imperative for you to be conscious of your interactions and decisions, particularly when it comes to determining point persons for key projects or opportunities for professional development. Transparent decision-making processes and clear criteria for advancement can help mitigate accusations of favoritism towards employees of any particular demographic.

It’s also beneficial to regularly rotate team roles and responsibilities, as this gives everyone a chance to shine and contribute in different ways. Not only does this approach promote fairness within your team; it also allows employees to develop a wider range of skills and understand different aspects of the business.

The rise of the multi-generational workforce presents an opportunity for businesses in the Philippines to capitalize on diverse strengths and involve employees of all ages in their future growth. If you’re applying for a job with a multi-generational culture—and, more importantly, if your position involves leading it—jump into the challenge with your eyes and ears open.

Posted by TalkShop


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