This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Here’s what this information about how employees view other generations at work means for your business.
The stats above demonstrate the lack of concern that most people have with diversity in age groups at the office. It’s also important to understand how people from different age groups bring unique skills to your company’s table. The same Addison Group research found that Gen Z and millennial workers were most appreciated for their tech-savviness. Gen-Xers were most appreciated for their work ethic, and baby boomers most for their leadership. These are generalizations, of course. Many boomers are also often technically skilled. But the general point stands: People from different age groups bring unique attributes to the table, and that’s to your company’s benefit.
I know too many baby boomers who are excellent leaders, quick learners and have kept up to date with the latest technology, only to get passed over for a job because of age. Some entrepreneurs don’t want to hire older people because they think they’ll have to pay a higher salary. That’s a needless worry. Plenty of boomers are willing to earn just as much as their much younger peers, even if it’s less than they made at higher-profile jobs decades ago.
It’s one thing to say you’re considering all ages for roles at your company, and another entirely to verify you’re checking your unconscious biases, such as a belief that younger people perform more quickly, or that you get along best with people close to your own age. By doing so, you can instead focus on the aspects of candidates that really matter, like work ethic, personality type, and skillsets.
The Addison Group survey found that 45 percent of respondents believe millennials receive preferential treatment at work. That’s still a significant number, despite the fact that the majority of people say the preferential treatment isn’t happening. However, it doesn’t eliminate valid concerns that older generations might have about being replaced. I have heard that concern voiced time and again, and have been in roles where I’m even a bit nervous about being replaced by someone younger. A workplace where older employees think the younger ones are being favored can turn toxic quickly.
In the research, 49 percent of respondents said millennials are the largest segment of their workplace, compared to 43 percent who said it was Gen X. Given the large numbers of millennials in the workforce, older generations might suppose that each new company initiative or process is targeted at appeasing those younger workers.
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