The key to managing different generations is actually quite easy. Treat them all with dignity and worth. Crazy – I know.
There aren’t really any differences in our emotional make up. All generations are basically the same emotionally. We all need the same things to feel psychologically safe and respected. Managers can give that to employees of any generation by treating everyone with dignity.
This also means – recognizing that each of your employees – are individuals with individual life experiences. Those life experiences make some people more anxious. Some people more eager. Some people more suspicious and some people more open to the point it annoys everyone.
Everyone is different and treating each person as the individual they are – helps a manager give each employee what they need. This also allows the manager to model professional and compassionate interpersonal relationships. It sets the tone for how employees are expected to treat each other.
Imagine if an office – everyone treated everyone else with dignity and appreciated what each individual brought to the team. That’s doable.
The big difference between generations isn’t in personality. It’s in life experiences. The defining geopolitical events and economy at the time they grew up and entered the work force. This sets their expectations for how relationships are supposed to work – including relationships in the workplace.
What cuts across all of that – is that everyone. EVERYONE wants to be recognized as a person with dignity and worth. If you can do that – you can create an amazing team of individuals with different life experiences all contributing fully to the work and the team.
Humanism matters in business – because humans matter.