There may be up to four generations at work in your treasury organization today, representing diverse life and work experiences. This can be a strength, as well as a source of occasional friction and misunderstanding. Treasurers can use multi-generational diversity to greater advantage by increasing understanding of group dynamics.
1. PRESSURE POINTS
Some of the more obvious generational and cultural differences that lead to workplace tension include attire, work style, working hours, communication methods, expectations regarding professionalism, and career advancement. Further issues can arise as a result of assumptions and misinterpretations. For example, younger generations might assume that an older generation’s hesitance to embrace technology indicates resistance to change, whereas older generations may associate quick adoption with carelessness.
2. RESOLVING POTENTIAL ISSUES
There are several best practices for improving group dynamics, including:
Communicate expectations — Creating open dialogue can be an effective way to reduce conflict. Clearly articulated guidelines and expectations in areas such as dress code and working hours can help avoid misunderstandings.
Educate the team — Managers should foster a team culture that rewards willingness to embrace generational diversity. One technique is to share research regarding generational characteristics and ask team members to acknowledge ways in which they are similar to or different from a particular generational characteristic.
3. ACHIEVING TEAM SUCCESS
Everyone has unique motivations, values and preferences, so it’s important to understand each individual on the team and base decisions on their actual strengths and abilities. Ultimately, this will help you identify which factors make the most of different team members’ behaviors and preferences. This, in turn, will open the door to a greater understanding of what brings the best out of different individuals.