There are now five generations in the workforce for the first time in history, which includes the Traditionalists, born before 1945, all the way to Gen Z, born in the mid-1990s. While some business owners and managers struggle to manage this unique workforce, there are many benefits to having multiple generations within a business.
First, a team that includes multiple generations can help create a learning-focused environment. Millennials tend to love learning, perhaps due to growing up with all the answers at their fingertips in the digital age. The Traditionalists are typically business savvy, whereas Gen Z may have more knowledge about technology. They all can share their strengths with one another and share different perspectives of the same idea.
Another benefit to having a multigenerational work environment is that it allows everyone an opportunity to step up as a leader in different areas. For example, the Baby Boomers bring a wealth of experience and often excel at delivering great customer service. They can lead their younger coworkers in many ways.
Since the younger generations may be better versed in technology and current social norms, they can help lead the other generations in those areas. This also helps with training new workers because each current employee will ensure that they are leading by example, especially in their areas of expertise.
Finally, having a work place where all generations are represented creates an environment of diversity. It allows employees to get outside their comfort zones and collaborate with colleagues from different stages of life.
By hiring a multigenerational set of employees, businesses create a diverse learning environment that is set up for people to lead in their areas of strength. A healthy mix of traditional approaches and innovative thinking will help maintain a balance between sticking with what the business knows best and stepping outside of the box. With a wide range of employee ages working at a business, there will be years of experience and maturity matched with youthful enthusiasm, which will help the business to thrive.
As you focus on developing a multigenerational workforce, keep in mind that all businesses need to follow all the applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination and labor laws when making hiring decisions.