Diversity in the workplace helps ideas to flow, but age is one of the last potentially discriminating factors of a worker to be fully dealt with. Both young and older employees could come under fire by other individuals because of their age – whether they’re judged to be too inexperienced or considered unknowledgeable in their field.
Having different age groups in your team can be challenging, but it could also be hugely beneficial to you and your business. It’s all about perspective and looking to see how you can make a situation better, which is a key mentality to have as an employer or manager.
Open the Floor to New Ideas
People of different age ranges can teach each other something, whether the lessons are work related or not. Having diverse minds on your team is the perfect way to build a business. With lots of intelligent and creative individuals comes many varied and fresh ideas, which is exactly what your company will need. Many employers are looking to the millennials for modern and new concepts, but it’s important not to disregard other employees who may have exciting new notions.
Train Everyone to the Same Level
Regular training and team meetings can keep everyone on the same page. Training everyone up to the same level means your workers will all be at the best of their ability and capable of the workload. However, make sure you are tailoring the training to everyone’s needs and aren’t just talking to a crowd that aren’t really listening. Make each session a little different, include video content, employ guest speakers, talk about varied things and ask for feedback at the end. It’s good to know that you’re not only teaching your employees but inspiring them in the workplace too.
You could also offer one-to-one sessions, so if anyone is struggling with their job, they can come to you to discuss and you can find the solution to their issues together.
Keep an Open Mind
Everyone is going to have their problems and conflict at work and it’s important that you keep an open mind when it comes to resolving them. People, despite age, will always react differently to situations, and it’s about finding resolutions that suit the individual. Do not have a pre-set and generic response to how you handle complaints, issues and conflict between your employees – make sure you really listen to an individual’s problem and take time to think of a way to resolve it.
Keep the Office Diverse
With a diverse team, comes a diverse office. Make sure you’ve incorporated private spaces into the design and make room for areas that staff members can go to, if they want a quieter place to work for a couple of hours. It’s not about the difference in ages between your employees, but more the varied personalities. Some individuals work better in loud, noisy open-plan spaces, whereas some need a closed off area where they can sit alone and focus. Therefore, you need an office that represents the diversity of human nature and cater accordingly.