Embracing Generational Diversity in the Workplace

We’ve been talking a lot about DE&I. All too often, the conversation around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leaves out a critical component of diversity: generational diversity.

We’re the generations people. We’ve got you covered.

Generational diversity is defined as, “the presence and inclusion of individuals belonging to all generations.” In the workplace, generational diversity refers to the representation of employees across different generations in an organization: Traditionalists (born 1900-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gen X (1965-1979), Millennials (1980-1995), and Gen Z (1996-2010).

Generational diversity is an often overlooked component of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Most workplaces include a wide range of ages across their employees. Therefore, it is vital to foster and support effective cross-generational collaboration, communication, and leadership to ensure productivity, sustainability, and retention within an organization.

Madeline Miles at BetterUp recommends fostering a culture of learning to support generational diversity and foster generational inclusion. Bending traditionally rigid silos in organizational structure to allow for more intergenerational collaboration and communication. Miles recommends organizations to encourage their multigenerational workplace “to share their perspectives and work together to innovate.” Because, “With increased innovation comes increased performance.”

Miles also recommends organizations adopt a more foundational and comprehensive approach to workplace mentorship:

“We all have something to learn from one another. With five generations in the workforce, there are plenty of mentoring and learning opportunities. And mentoring relationships aren’t just a one-way street…Consider ways you can create learning pathways and mentorships, especially internally. With mentoring opportunities, your employees can continue to learn from one another.”

Finally, Miles asserts that modeling and promoting inclusive leadership is a key element in fostering generational diversity, inclusion, and workforce productivity. “Inclusive leadership puts belonging at the heart of everything. A leader who instills a sense of belonging in their employees will reap the benefits.” The researchers at BetterUp have found that employees with inclusive leaders are:

  • 50% more productive
  • 90% more innovative
  • 150% more engaged
  • And 54% lower employee turnover

“Age and generations are forms of diversity in the workplace. And generational diversity should be embraced, celebrated, and fostered with inclusivity and belonging.”

Generational diversity, inclusion, and collaboration offers companies unique ways to strengthen employee engagement and belonging, ultimately leading to greater productivity and retention. If you strive to be an inclusive leader and build your inclusive leadership culture and competencies, lean on the experts at BridgeWorks to guide you along your journey.