Education and Learning News from 4imprint
As most people would acknowledge, different generations have very different life experiences, expectations, motivators and values. Whilst this creates a healthy and vibrant mix in society as a whole, if not effectively managed, it can cause friction and misunderstanding in the workplace.Although some may consider it unhelpful to generalise about the different generations there is no doubt that each age group is affected differently by economic, social, educational and cultural influences and each generational group has different priorities and drivers. Understanding and managing these differences can help to recruit, motivate and retain staff across a wide range of age groups which ultimately leads to a stronger working environment.Whilst some employment sectors may include four or five different generational groups it is likely that the education sector workforce is made up predominantly of three:Baby Boomers – born roughly between 1946 and 1964
Generation X (Gen-X) – 1965-1979
Generation Y (Gen-Y) or ‘Millennials’ – 1980-1995The following points might be worth considering to ensure harmony within your team:Welcome Teams
Build internal project teams that consist of multiple-aged workers. Although it may seem easier and less stressful to pair like-minded individuals together, your workplace will benefit more from the diverse opinions and discussions. You’d be surprised at how quickly varying perspectives can turn a good idea into a great idea.When creating groups, if possible allow for time within the workday for teammates to get to know each other better, before the potential stress of the project or task-at-hand settles in. Consider outfitting each ‘team’ in colour-coordinated polo shirts to wear on team meeting days, or give each group matching coloured lanyards to increase the feeling of solidarity. Consistently monitor group progress and dynamics to ensure team mates remain friendly and respectful.

Embrace Diversity
Publicly celebrate employee differences. Consider holding regular recognition ‘ceremonies’ that celebrate what makes your employees unique and what specific contributions have positively impacted results. By publicly shining the spotlight on employees of all ages, you’ll foster camaraderie between team mates of all generations and help everyone recognise that age diversity in the workplace ultimately carries more benefits than adversity. Try holding the ceremonies at lunch time – so that attendance will be higher. At the beginning of each quarter, let the team vote on what types of prizes will be given to those who are recognised you could consider a laptop bag, tekky things such as an MP3 player, USB flashdrive or digital picture frame.

Address any issues head-on
Organisations with multiple-aged workers cannot afford any brooding conflict between employees. If you sense a potentially debilitating situation brewing, approach the issue assertively and attempt to get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible.

Perhaps the employees involved just don’t actually understand each other’s work or concentration habits. Maybe there’s a communication barrier at the core of their relationship woes. No matter the problem, by intervening swiftly, you’ll be more likely to salvage the relationship and proactively work toward a solution that all are comfortable with and can learn from.

Keeping relationships cool between Baby Boomers, Gen-X and Millennials is an important component to motivating and retaining all employees for the long haul. Once you’ve mastered generational relationships, you’ll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of having Millennials on your team. From their enthusiasm and passion to their unbridled commitment to making a difference in the world, you’ll be happy you made the effort today.

Stylish ways to enjoy a cuppa!Posted by Carl Blackshaw.