diversity training for generations millenials

One of the greatest challenges and opportunities to effective collaboration within organizations today is the age range of their workers.” – Katerina Kazakos-Tate, Generational Leader

For the first time, five generations including Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials (Generation Y) and Generation Z are working side by side and contributing to a diverse workforce.

Research shows that reported incidents of employees experiencing offensive comments and generation-based microaggressions are on the rise. Human resources departments are being called in to handle reported incidents related to age or generational diversity and are being asked to resolve conflicts in way that honors  the company’s mission and core values. Conflict between Millennials and Baby Boomers or Traditionalists is common as are microaggressions toward nearly every generation at work.

While each generation has its own influences and group attributes, it is important to remember that someone’s generation is just one part of their identity. In fact, some individuals identify more with a different generation than their birth year indicates.

Diversity Builder’s Bridging Generational Differences class teaches employees at all levels about the different generations in the workplace and best practices to use on teams and in communication to capitalize on diverse strengths from contributors in each generation. The trainer tailors each webinar or onsite training to the group, considering challenge areas, demographical generational makeup, and core values. Generations in the workplace training is a valuable component of a DE&I education plan.

Learning Options
Online: On demand self-directed
Live Webinar
Onsite In-Person

Human resources departments have primarily focused on interpersonal issues related to racial or gender diversity. Now generational diversity has come to the forefront. There are now five generations working side by side in the workplace. While teams truly appreciate the age and generational differences, there are challenges arising, particularly in the areas of collaboration, working style preferences, and communication.  A 2018 Randstad USA  study showed that 86% of workers prefer to work on multigenerational teams (defined as those who are least 10-15 years apart in age).

Training on Generational Differences

Diversity Builder has some of the top diversity trainers in the country who understand how to bridge generational differences in the workplace .  Diversity Builders’ trainers incorporate their deep knowledge of DE&I topics to help team members see the broader perspective of multiple identities in the workplace and the microaggressions that can result from generational disconnects. The trainers  meet employee’s where they are in their journey and customize workshops and webinars for the industry and focus areas.

Generations in the Workplace Training Topics

  • Current generations at work
  • Practical strategies to promote generational leadership
  • How to build community and cohesive teams
  • Generational differences and similarities
  • How one’s generation is just a part a diverse and unique identity
  • Leveraging differences as strengths
  • Best practices in communication across generations

Studies have shown that teams which are develop innovative ideas and creative solutions to challenges. There are a number of other benefits in having the difference in perspective that often comes from generational differences.

Get started with Multigenerational Diversity Training

    Why is generational diversity a challenge?

    One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when trying to encourage generational diversity and inclusion is ageism. Also known as age discrimination, this is a protected class by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

    According to workplace surveys conducted by Glassdoor, nearly half of employees (45%) report having experienced or witnessed ageism. The EEOC criteria for age-based discrimination covers employees 40 years of age or older. Thus, it is illegal to discriminate against anyone 40 years old or older. Based on Glassdoor’s research, younger employees (52% of ages 18-34) are more likely than older employees (39% of ages 55+) to have witnessed or experienced discrimination based on age.

    Examples of new generational challenges faced within today’s workplace

    • There are baby boomers in peer-to-peer collaboration with much younger newly hired university graduates.
    • Employees may report to supervisors much younger than them.
    • There are traditionalists and baby boomers who are planning to retire and may have extensive knowledge and organizational history that is at risk of retiring with them.
    • Older generation managers are asking mentors and HR leaders for guidance in managing Millennials and Gen Z employees

    Age-Based Communication Preferences

    In addition to age discrimination, communication between generations is a big challenge among teams. According to multigenerational workplaces scholar Amanda Grenier, older and younger generations have different ways of speaking, although such differences may or may not be present. This is due to having different social historical reference points and different culturally determined experiences.

    Generational diversity is not going away. If we want to create long-lasting businesses, we need to tackle these challenges.

    How to Collaborate Successfully Across Generations

    The way you can create a thriving multignerational culture is by educating employees. Make sure that they understand the differences in history and communication styles for each generation. Help them reject the stereotypes and misinformation about generations perpetuated by media while at the same time understanding that every generation has developed their worldview in relation to the world in which they grew up and their lived experience.

    How do we begin to build strong generational teams? First, begin by having candid conversations with your teams about generational differences and similarities and individual experiences, that differ for each person. Learn more about biases and ensuing microaggressions which cause great harm in the workplace. Begin practicing intentional inclusion and avoid stereotypical comments, inappropriate jokes, and generational-based sarcasm.

    From there, create multi-generational teams as often as possible, and intentionally find ways to have face-to-face interactions with members of different generations. Consider setting up employee resource group to address generational issues and make generational diversity a part of your ongoing initiatives.