Permanent labor certification ads emphasize immigrant workers in the labor force, but viewers should also keep in mind that age diversity in the workplace is an issue alongside ethnic diversity. Generational gaps exist in the workplace just as they always have, and it’s up to managers to make sure that all relationships between co-workers are entirely issue-free.
It’s important to keep in mind that people of all age groups have something potentially useful to contribute. Older managers might regard millennial employees’ opinions as trivial, while younger managers might see the advice offered by their older employee as outdated. Those are hardly the necessary cases for either situation; a manager, despite being the boss, is not perfect, and he or she has plenty to learn from their employees regardless of age. When managing an age-diverse group, it’s important for managers to enter the office every day with an open mind, and more importantly, the willingness to be proven wrong. Who knows, maybe the advice of a significantly older or younger employee might contribute to the company in a way that earns the manager a raise in the near future!
Keep an Ear Out for Slang and Terminology
With each new generation comes a new variety of current phrases. For an older manager, these slang words can be hard to keep up with, although that doesn’t mean that managers shouldn’t make pointed efforts to keep up with them. Communication is an integral part of a manager’s job, and they wouldn’t be doing that job right at all if they don’t understand the words that are coming out of an employee’s mouth. Conversely, a younger manager might find difficulty in picking up some of the words or phrases that employees of older generations occasionally use. In either case, the best way for the manager to pick up on the new wording is to engage in regular discussions with the employee. For all anyone knows, the manager might find him or herself inadvertently using the slang terms themselves!
Be Supportive, Always
When it comes to interpersonal relationships in the workplace, managers need to be acutely aware of how sensitive certain employees can be regarding their performance. For example, a younger worker might excel at certain assignments because they were raised with a better technological understanding, and an employee a few generations ahead might have to witness all of these congratulatory conversations while he himself does not receive extra praise for handing the work on time and perfectly done. In these cases, and any other similar cases that might arise, it’s important that the manager support all employees equally, since they are all deserving of acknowledgement at one time or another.