It’s not uncommon to see three or four generations at work these days. According to the Pugh Research Center, millennials were born from 1981 to 1997, and many have dubbed the newest generation Gen Z. Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1980, and the post-WWII baby boomers often share office space with these younger generations.
These groups may have different priorities, making it difficult for employers to create a more inviting workplace that appeals to everyone. Here are some tips to support the productivity of multigenerational workplaces:
1. Keep Office Furniture and Technology Updated
According to the Staples 2019 Canadian Workplace Survey, new technology and equipment and ergonomic furniture were the top priorities of all age groups. However, millennials preferred open workspaces more than previous generations.
Younger, tech-savvy Gen Z employees were born into the digital age. They are excited to try out new tools and the latest gadgets and apps. Feeding their need for tech is one key to keeping Gen Z happy in the workplace.
2. Prepare Millennial Managers for Gen Z
As millennials enter their mid-30s, they are beginning to manage Gen Z employees. To succeed, managers should understand that Gen Z responds to face-to-face communications but also has an entrepreneurial streak. This interesting dichotomy in working style can lead to misunderstandings. To be successful, millennial managers should cater to Gen Z’s desire for mentorship and communication. The good news is that 77% of them are prepared to work harder than previous generations to earn their place at the table.
3. Support Social Causes and Sustainability
About 30% of Gen Z workers surveyed said they would take a pay cut to work for a company with a mission they cared deeply about. This generation grew up hearing about the importance of climate change and social causes. Companies that take care to reduce their carbon footprint, source material locally and act as good stewards of the environment are likely to win the loyalty of both Gen Z and millennials with a deep commitment to their core values.
Creating a more inviting workplace and culture can improve retention and productivity. Companies that wish to create a productive space for multiple generations can also ask their employees what’s important to them and slowly integrate changes, such as creating spaces suited for a variety of work styles, including socialization, concentration, collaboration and training.