An original packet of Skittles brings an arrangement of approximately five different flavors, all with the purpose of providing the consumer with the delight of “tasting the rainbow.” The goal of the Skittles product is to saturate the taste buds of a consumer with a plethora flavors so that the said consumer can magically experience the taste of a rainbow. Thus, the diversity of flavors within the Skittles packet is what makes Skittles America’s favorite candy.
America’s corporate workplace should be like a Skittles packet, inviting of any kind diversity that will better the product of the company. Workplaces across America should invest more time and effort in ensuring that their teams are intergenerational. According to a Forbes Insights report that surveyed approximately 300 senior executives, the majority of leaders, which primarily consisted of Baby Boomers and Gen X, claimed that the “Millennial generation is consequential” as Millennials’ creativity and ability to understand the new savvy customer contributes to the companies’ success. In fact, 61% of executives praise and name Millennials as contributors to success. However, 48% of executives also answered that managing the Millennial generation was one of the top management challenges they faced.
Why could that be?
Many might contribute such challenges to intergenerational differences. A major difference between Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers is their communication styles. For the Millennial generation, connecting and collaborating is essential which might make it hard for them to understand the structure of power in a company.
Baby Boomers value face-to-face communication more than any other generation and adhere to the structure of power that is in place. As a generation that did not grow up with technology at home, they tend to be more conversational than any other generation in the workplace.
Gen X individuals can be considered the problem solvers of the workplace as, Rich Litner from Coca-Cola said, “ is more direct and less nuanced than the Boomers and less immediate and emotional than the Millennials.”The communication style of Gen X individuals can be thought of as flexible as they are tech savvy enough to communicate with the Millennials and have enough confidence to have conversations with the Boomers.
The first step towards solving an intergenerational difference that might appear at work is making an effort to understand each other and work towards being open-minded. Frustration might cause certain occurrences between individuals to go awry. However, the only way to foster successful intergenerational communication in the workplace is to promote an understanding attitude and mindset.
The intergenerational workplace should not be merely a place that companies plan to create but, instead, work to make a reality. A team with different experiences and perspectives only fosters an innovative and successful environment.
About the Author: Jailene is a 17- year- old blogger who enjoys literature, walking around New York City, and learning something new everyday.