Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen a shift in the workforce as retirees stay on longer, and younger workers bring new skill sets to the table. Having three—and sometimes four—generations working together can often cause conflict. So how do you keep the peace while reaping the benefits that each group brings?
In order to answer these questions, I turned to HR speaker and author Lori Kleiman, who helps business owners solve these types of problems on a daily basis. “The first thing to realize is that multigenerational staffs are happening in the workplace today, and it’s not going away,” says Kleiman. “In fact, it’s only going to increase.”
Pizzerias, especially, are ideal locations for a multigenerational staff. “Pizzerias are attractive to both retirees and students,” says Kleiman. “Traditional retirees are leaving corporate jobs and looking for something to do; this is a great pool of talent for pizzerias to draw from. Additionally, younger workers bring skills in technology, social media and multitasking to the table.” Kleiman says there’s a lot that each generation can learn from one other, including technology, work ethic, and more.
As with any staff, friction can develop between the generations. The key is to keep the lines of communication flowing, making it clear to all employees what is acceptable, and what is not (i.e., texting during meetings), according to Kleiman. Ultimately, staff members will learn to rely on each other and be more accepting of their coworkers.
Since the beginning of time, coworkers have struggled to get along. A multigenerational workforce adds a new element to that equation, but one that should be embraced as an opportunity to strengthen your staff as well as your businesses.
Bonus Tip: With so many people—young and old—using social media, Kleiman says it’s more important than ever to have a written social media policy stating what staff members can and can’t post online about your business.
For more extensive information and statistics on multigenerational workforces, check out this in-depth paper written by Lee Hecht Harrison: Managing Today’s Multigenerational Workforce