Gone are the days when you got a job out of high school or college and then worked there for 40 years, got a party and gold watch before living off your pension and IRA.
Whether it’s for financial reasons or to fulfill a desire to remain productive and useful, workers are remaining employed way past traditional retirement age. According to Business Insider.com U.S. census statistics report that, as of February 2019, about 20% of Americans over age 65 — a total of 10.6 million people — were either working or looking for work.
This resulted in today’s multi-generational workplace, which brings with it conflicts from work ethic to technological know-how.
Here’s how older workers can face the workday feeling like an integral part of their team:
Break down generational stereotypes. Understanding other age groups’ work styles leads to respectful attitudes. Working on a project with a younger co-worker can integrate varied viewpoints, and often produces innovative ideas.
Learn from each other. While older workers can pass along their years of knowledge and experience as well as business contacts, younger workers can share their experience with the latest tech and social media channels.
Fill in communication gaps. Let your manager know if you are not comfortable with the method of communication in the office. Unless it is mandatory that workers use the company email or messaging system, let your manager know your preferred communication methods.
Respect each other. In creating a harmonious work environment, it all comes down to mutual respect. The key to establishing respect among generations is knowing that your co-workers’ motivation, work style and experience is different than yours. It also helps to be flexible and accommodate their needs and preferences.
It takes effort on everyone’s part to create balance in a multi-generational workplace. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Your turn: What’s your experience working in a multi-generational workplace? Tell us about it in the comments.