3 Ways to Resolve the Generational Gap Issue

Bridge the Gap & Create Efficient Teams

We are experiencing the most age-diverse workforce in history. According to Purdue Global, this is “the first time in history [that] there are five generations in the workplace.” Each generation has unique experiences that shape how they approach work. This diversity presents an opportunity for the transfer of wisdom and the sharing of new knowledge, but that potential is not being fully realized.

Thanks to a LinkedIn survey, we know that 20% of Gen Zers haven’t spoken with someone over fifty in the last year. Similarly, 40% of those over 55 haven’t had a conversation with a Gen Z employee in the same period. This communication gap impacts several critical areas:

+ Advancing careers for Gen Z
+ Learning new skills and software for older generations
+ Building strong workplace cultures
+ Efficiently solving problems

And countless more examples. But why do we need to bridge this gap?

When employees do not communicate effectively, organizational productivity suffers. Critical insights into the true condition of the business are lost, which means we address symptoms rather than solving root problems due to a lack of diverse perspectives.

Without effective communication, younger generations miss out on valuable learning experiences, making avoidable mistakes. Simultaneously, older generations become stagnant, missing out on new efficiencies and innovations entering the market.

We’re seeing a clear lack of communication, and what little occurs is too superficial to drive significant change. The need for real communication is evident. Here’s how to bridge the gap:

1. Create Cross-Generational Teams

Bringing together individuals from different generations fosters a wider spectrum of ideas and solutions to different challenges. Creating the path, with cross-generational teams or meetings, encourages diversity of thought within your organization.

2. Establish Communication Expectations

Make it clear that communication is essential for business success. When leadership sets the expectation for open and honest communication, exemplifies it, and champions it at all levels, teams become more efficient and foster better cultures. Bringing the youngest and the oldest generation together will be unfamiliar for many, requiring organizations to be more strategic and mindful while creating more inclusive environments. 

3. Understand Your Current Situation

Gathering data on where your team stands with communication provides tangible results. Have everyone complete The Pursuit of Honesty Assessment and discuss the current gaps to overcome. Two useful conversation starters are: What blocks us from 100% honesty? What blocks us from 100% openness?

Bridging the generational communication gap is crucial for enhancing productivity, fostering innovation, and creating a cohesive work environment. By creating cross-generational teams, establishing clear communication expectations, and understanding current communication barriers, organizations can unlock the full potential of their diverse workforce.

Take action now: Begin by assessing your team’s ability to receive and deliver real communication and implementing these strategies to ensure a more connected and collaborative workplace. Work together to overcome this communication gap and build stronger, more effective organizations.

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