Embrace and integrate a more informal culture. Managers should set the ground rules on what is and isn’t acceptable.
- Encourage the use multiple communications tools. Boomers = more electronics, Millennials could use some coaching on verbal communications skills.
- Work to understand how individuals best communicate and use that method. If Jack doesn’t like small talk, shoot him an email. If Jill likes the human back and forth, drop by her office with a latte.
- Understand core values. Boomers, used to pensions and long-term company loyalty tend to look down on Millennials who value excitement and change. Understand what the drivers are.
- Be prepared to mentor and reward. Boomers used to a “nose to the grindstone” work ethic should understand the younger generation wants and seeks direction and praise.
- Never assume. Blanket assumptions and stereotypes abound across generations. Ask, don’t assume.
- Embrace learning, on both ends. Experience counts, but so does a young mind that grew up living tech. Trade ideas and experience in a good way.
- Understand the differences and use them to make things better.
- Develop a culture that fosters generational exchange of strengths through mentoring, teaching and learning.
- Consider “pair” mentoring, matching a seasoned employee with a newbie.