Why there's value in having a multi-generational workplace

It's important for a workplace to acknowledge generational differences between co-workers, without stereotyping or generalising, in order for it to be as effective and productive as possible.

So says talent strategist and leadership guru Anja van Beek.

Van Beek says companies need to build a culture of awareness around generational differences and foster diversity.

Read: Why a diverse workplace matters

She explains that there is value in having a diverse workforce, with a range of knowledge, backgrounds and skills for colleagues to learn from each other.

In any given workplace environment you may find the following groups, each with their own nuances:

  • the traditionalists (older than 75)
  • the baby boomers (54-75)
  • generation X (38-54)
  • millennials or generation Y (22-37)
  • generation Z (22 and younger)

Van Beek adds that future workplace trends include mobility, changing demographics, delayed retirement, the gig economy and using technology as a competitive advantage.

She advises that both workplace trends and generational changes should inform how organisational cultures are formed to create an ideal work environment.

Also read: Why workplace conflict isn't always a bad thing (and how to manage it)

It's new to have those four generations working side by side.

Anja van Beek, founder of Anja van Beek Consulting & Coaching

A generation is a group of people born in a specific age.

Anja van Beek, founder of Anja van Beek Consulting & Coaching

Don't stereotype. It's about creating that culture where we are aware of those differences so that people can foster and respect differences, be productive and effective.

Anja van Beek, founder of Anja van Beek Consulting & Coaching

For millennials, connection to purpose is key. It's not just about profits... It's about the big 'WHY?'.

Anja van Beek, founder of Anja van Beek Consulting & Coaching

Listen to the discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why there's value in having a multi-generational workplace


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