The 2016 U.S. presidential election, loosely speaking, showed that Millennials and Generation Xers want different things for their country. Everything from climate change to social security was up for debate, and now the American public is waiting with bated breath to see what the Trump administration’s true stance is on these hotly debated issues.
The difference in thinking between the two generations has probably had an impact on your small business. With employees ranging in age from 20 to 50-something, coming in with different worldviews and experiences, workplace conflict will (or might already be) on the rise. No matter the political controversy or diverging work ethic of your staff, the types of business insurance you invest in should protect all equally.
Building Bridges Between Generations
There is a stereotype for every generation. Millennials are thought to be entitled, tech-driven individuals who are more concerned with Instagram filters than they are performing well at their job. Generation Xers are painted as the “neglected middle child.” Because Gen Xers are caught between two generations (Baby Boomers and Millennials) who have dominated pop culture and advertising and have been described as the polar opposites of each other, Gen X has been forced to take a backseat. Falling in the middle of the political spectrum and looking to establish a better work/life balance, Gen Xers have been branded as simple and unknowledgeable.
Though it can be tempting to form an opinion of an employee based on the generation they belong to, stereotyping your employees and forcing them into a box will only damage your company’s morale.
To make sure every member of your team feels respected, safe and heard, make these three practices part of the daily routine.
1. Make open communication a priority. Employees can become overwhelmed at thought of speaking to the boss about something they do not like or are uncomfortable with in the workplace. When I Work recommends infusing different forms of communication in the workplace that appeals to the different generations of employees that work for you. This can include having “an open door policy, [a] suggestion box and having regular periodical reviews for times of one-on-one conversation.”
2. Build a collaborative work process. This will build on maintaining open communication. By having your team members work together on projects and in meetings with clients, you will be helping the other to see that different viewpoints cast new ideas on how to solve problems.
3. Understand what your employees need on an individual basis. If an employee does not believe that their work is being valued or appreciated, morale will drop and they will look for employment elsewhere. The same thing applies to the positivity of the work environment — if one employee’s negative attitude goes untreated, they will jump at the chance of joining another company when a recruiter comes knocking. Work to satisfy your employees need for learning, training and praise. A challenging and fun work environment is a powerful motivator. Make sure each employee has a detailed monthly plan of what is expected of them and their work.
To keep your employees feeling valued, make sure your business insurance plan includes employee coverage. Visit CoverHound for competitive business insurance quotes today.