Dealing With Age Differences In The Workplace

If you work in an environment with many other people, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a mix of different ages. And, sometimes, different generations can clash as their values or approach to work are very different. Here are some ways to create strong inter-generational relationships at work:

Value everyone’s experience

You might be quick to think that young people don’t have as much experience and therefore aren’t as valuable as older team members who’ve racked up many years’ practice in a job. But remember, young people might have other skills that they can introduce to the workplace such as an understanding of new technologies. Equally, you might dismiss older staff as being out of touch – but it’s likely that they’ve built up a wealth of valuable experience that they can share with younger staff.

Don’t be patronising

Often younger people can feel that older staff talk down to them in the workplace or treat them like children. Or older people can find that younger team members are patronising when talking about new trends or technologies. Always show respect, regardless of a person’s age.

Find common ground

You might find it hard to strike up conversations with people who are separated from you by several decades. But there are always topics that cross the generations such as a love of cinema or music. Sport, current affairs or food are also good topics to chat about and can lead to more meaningful conversations, allowing you to find out more about your colleague.

Blending people from different generations can create strong teams in the workplace, with a good mix of experience and new ideas. So take the time to build strong relationships and you’ll have a more enjoyable and productive work environment.

Comments are closed.