By Charity Kilbourn – Sr. Content Leader, ACTN Strategies LLC
Remote work has become commonplace in organizations across the United States in recent months. Having a remote workforce that oftentimes spans four generations means leaders need to identify potential pitfalls while leveraging each generations unique strengths in order to create a unified remote team.
Technology can be an issue in any work environment. However, when it comes to remote work, not having technology that can be comfortably utilized across each demographic can mean a death sentence when it comes to productivity. Perhaps younger generations are more comfortable with video calls or instant messaging while older generations would prefer a quick phone call or email.
When selecting the technological tools that will be utilized across a remote team, leaders should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, consider the preferences of each demographic and strive to come up with a blended solution that can work for everyone. This is an excellent time to leverage the strengths of each demographic in order to cross-train on different tools.
Generational silos can also pose a problem when working remotely. With standard water cooler moments taken out of the equation, employees can easy to fall into the trap of only communicating with coworkers close to their age while unintentionally excluding those who are much younger or older than themselves.
Eliminating generational silos can easily be accomplished by creating diverse teams with a shared goal. This will encourage communication as well as help staff feel more comfortable working with different age groups remotely. It can also create opportunities for mentorship inside and outside of the organization.
There is no question that managing a multi-generational workforce comes with an array of unique problems. However, it also provides an opportunity for leadership to cultivate the diverse strengths of a workforce that has experience across five decades. By creating a space where everyone is encouraged to share their unique perspectives and struggles, leaders can work towards building highly functional and collaborative multi-generational remote teams.
Stay tuned for our ongoing series on remote work. Up Next – Remote Work Series Part 3: Best Practices for Mental Health