You’ve probably heard it before. Millennials require constant praise. Generation X is too independent. Baby Boomers are workaholics. Traditionalists are “lifers”. Although there is some documented truth behind these stereotypes, at the end of the day, everyone wants to succeed for both their personal aspirations and the company’s benefit. To remain successful, organizations should be focused on how knowledge is transferred from one generation of employees to the next. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Leverage the Experienced
A few weeks ago, I discussed the benefits of having a mentoring program. Traditionalists and Baby Boomers want to work for an organization that values their experience and depth of knowledge. Be sure to leverage their expertise through mentorship programs and focus groups where they can share their knowledge with others. Encourage your Traditionalists and Baby Boomers to serve as mentors to younger generations on areas related to business acumen, savviness, and professional behavior – development areas that come with time and experience in the workforce.
On the flip side, reverse mentoring is a great way to educate your seasoned workforce on new technologies and emerging trends. Have your Millennial and Generation X employees (who are typically pretty tech savvy) partner with your employees from the other generations to help them learn your company’s new technologies as well as emerging technologies that may help them in their current role.
Pairing employees from different generations can bridge the knowledge gap and build a strong relationship that might not have otherwise existed. Each generation brings a bucket of knowledge and expertise to pass down (or up!). Facilitating knowledge transfer as well as creating an environment where everyone feels they are both valued and able to contribute is how you keep your company moving forward.