Generational Conflict Management in the Workplace

Generational Conflict Management in the Workplace
From Recruiter - December 8, 2016

Feeling like a dinosaur in the workplace? So does your 25-year-old millennial coworker.

No matter your age or industry, younger generations entering the workforce can feel like a threat. As technology advances faster and faster, companies are hungry for employees who are instant masters of the latest trends. Just when millennials became comfortable in their place as the perfect young, savvy recruits, Gen. Z came knocking.

Theres no getting around it: The incoming workforce is marketable. Gen. Z newbies have certain skills that Gen. X-ers, boomers, and millennials dont, and their entrance into the adult world will undoubtedly change workplace dynamics.

Does that mean that anyone who grew up pre-Disney Channel is at risk of unemployment? Of course not. While Gen. Z has much to offer, it also has much to learn. We have up to five different generations in the workplace today, all with different interests, motivations, and perspectives and thats a good thing.

In any collaborative work environment, a unified, supportive team attitude is key. When your employees arent communicating properly, theyre not as productiveand that messes with your bottom line. Unfortunately, generational divides can naturally cause simple misunderstandings or full-on conflicts in the workplace.

But integrating employees of different generations into one cohesive team doesnt have to be a headache. Employing effective conflict management techniques can resolve issues, restore order, and rally your team to perform at its peak.

First, Overcome Generational Stereotypes

Youve heard the saying about what happens when you assume. Stereotypes, while often not malicious, have the power to become real problems, and its easy to stereotype people whom you see every day but never talk to.

Why not organize a team-building experience thats fun, creative, and engaging for all types of employees? Team challenges like escape roomsare great go-to options for instant bonding. Throw an office viewingparty for the next NFL game, or organize an outing to a minor league hockey match. Volunteer as a team for a local charity. Take an office poll to find out whod be into laser tag, a barbecue, or trivia night. Work together to build a castle out of marshmallows and spaghetti. Do whatever it takes to helpeveryone to get to know each other on a personal level.

One single day probably wont do the trick, so be persistent. Whenever appropriate, encourage employees of different ages to teach each other new skills or work together on projects. Friendships or, at the very least, mutual respectwill build over time.


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