How To Lead A Generationally Diverse Team

generationally diverse team

How To Lead A Generationally Diverse Team

Anjali Dalal | May, 1 2024

A Simple Guide To Leading A Generationally Diverse Team

Have you ever struggled to bridge the gap between your team and individuals from different generations with diverse values and work preferences? If yes, you are not alone.

Leaders across industries today are facing this significant issue – the clash of generations in the workplace. A Deloitte study says that managing multigenerational teams is a key challenge for most managers, thereby affecting company performance and growth.

However, how we look at it, generational diversity isn’t negative; it’s rather positive strategic potential waiting for us to discover.

This blog post will cover some successful tactics and best practices leaders can use when working with teams of individuals from different generations. 

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Understanding Multigenerational Terms

To effectively lead multigenerational teams, it is important that leaders have an understanding of the different generations and their preferences:

1. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964): Identified by their strong work ethic and loyalty, this generation prefers face-to-face communication and hierarchical structures.

2. Generation X (born 1965-1980): This generation is known for independence and entrepreneurial skills. They value autonomy at work and work-life balance. They know how to use technology but still appreciate personal relationships.

3. Millennials (born 1981-1996): These people are tech-savvy and socially aware. Collaborative environments fuel their motivation while they seek meaning in what they do. They are flexible and learn new approaches every day. 

4. Generation Z (born 1997-2012): Digital natives with a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit who champion diversity and inclusivity within organizations or communities around them. They like instant messaging systems best and expect leaders to be authentic in their approach to them.

With this foundation on generational differences, let us delve into approaches that can be employed by managers when working with such groups:

Leading Generationally Diverse Teams


1. Introduce Inclusive Communication Channels

No team can survive in the long run without proper communication. However, since individuals of different generations have their own communication styles, leaders should use various means of communication. For instance, Baby Boomers can use face-to-face meetings, while Gen Xers can use emails and instant messaging systems. Similarly, collaborative platforms and social media can be ideal for Millennials and Gen Zs. This move will enable all team members to feel appreciated and listened to.

Communication Skills Course


2. Flexibility and Adaptability

Not every member of your team may respond well to one-size-fits-all leadership tactics. Leaders must adopt flexible leadership styles that adapt to the preferences and needs of different generations when necessary. This might involve providing options for working remotely or having flexible schedules to cater to various work-life balance priorities. Also, be ready to listen more often than you speak—it could promote you from a good to a great leader.

Listening Skills – Beginner Course


3. Continuous Learning

Foster among your personnel an environment that appreciates continuous learning. Regular training workshops should be conducted in different styles and for different learning preferences. Millennials and Gen Zers, in particular, never leave a chance to learn new and exciting things. Therefore, investing in professional growth equips individuals with skills and also demonstrates commitment toward their future achievements.

Team Building 


4. Promote Cross-Generational Mentoring

You can do this by organizing cross-generational mentorship initiatives where employees learn from each other’s experiences and views on life. Allow mentors and mentees to have open discussions as they work together on projects. Furthermore, when older employees team up with younger ones, it promotes knowledge sharing while also enhancing mutual understanding across ages. Such engagements teach individuals how valuable diverse ideas can be when trying to solve problems or come up with new things.

Recognizing Employees


5. Lead By Example

As a leader, your actions speak much louder than your words. Be empathetic enough towards differences caused by age brackets so that no voice goes unheard within your organization. Everyone in the organization is equally important, regardless of their generation bracket.

Must Read: 10 Tips For Effective Communication In The Workplace


What Does Training Do To Bridge The Gap Between Generations?

In B2B teams, training is very important because it helps bridge the generation gap.

  • Nurturing Mutual Understanding: Sessions that train employees about generational diversity can help them understand and value each other’s points of view, communication methods, and work styles. This mutual understanding lays a solid ground for working together successfully as a team.

Leading a Team Course


  • Enhancing Communication Skills: Successful communication is key in any B2B team. Communication training programs equip members with the skills to communicate comfortably with one another across different age groups. It involves knowing how to talk face-to-face or using digital resources for virtual collaboration, among other things, all aimed at enabling teams to share information more efficiently.

Communication Skills For Managers


  • Promoting Creativity: Different individuals have varied ways of thinking based on their backgrounds or experiences. Diversity training courses and creative thinking training promote critical thinking abilities among employees so that they can fully tap into this potential.

Managing A Cross-Functional Team


Some Popular Diversity Courses


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End Note

It is important for leaders to understand and accept that generational diversity exists. By adopting inclusive leadership methods and investing in training schemes that build teamwork, communication, and creativity, leaders can use generational differences as a catalyst for success. With this in mind, build teams that are inclusive of all generations.

And for your inclusive training needs, leave it all to Coggno. Coggno has a diverse training catalog to meet your needs. Visit our marketplace and see it for yourself.

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