Learning & Development

5 Tips for Training and Developing Employees Across Generations

Many articles have been written about the differences between each generation and how they don’t understand one another inside the workplace. But there is actually substantial research that proves generational differences inside the workplace are a complete myth and that every employee essentially wants the same things:


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  • Respect
  • Feedback
  • Trustworthy leaders
  • Help with embracing change
  • Opportunities to learn and grow

And if you want your employee training and development initiatives to succeed, you’ll want to focus on those similarities instead of each generation’s differences.
Here are five specific things you’ll want to do consistently when training and developing employees from different generations.

1. Develop Communications Skills and Emotional Intelligence Skills

Emotionally intelligent employees communicate more effectively and are more respectful of one another, regardless of their generation. They are more collaborative and productive and even help grow an organization’s bottom line.
Read “4 Reasons Why Your Employees Need Emotional Intelligence Skills”  and “Step by Step: 3 Ways to Train for Emotional Intelligence” for more information.

2. Emphasize Employees’ Strengths

When you focus on each employee’s strengths instead of everything he or she needs to improve, you yield better performance results, endorse a more collaborative culture, and provide him or her with a greater sense of purpose—regardless of his or her generation. So, you essentially promote respect and provide sincere opportunities to learn and grow.
Read “Why You Should Develop and Promote Strengths Training” for more details.

3. Provide Employees with Regular Feedback

Regardless of whether an employee has been working for 2 years or 20, provide him or her with regular learning and/or performance feedback, and consider saying goodbye to annual performance reviews altogether. This way, employees will know what they do well (what their strengths are) and where there might be opportunities to learn something new.

4. Focus on Quality Leadership Development

Employees leave bad managers, regardless of their ages. So, make sure you are focusing on developing high-quality leaders for your entire organization—managers of all ages and backgrounds. And don’t forget to train your new managers.
Read “4 Tips for Coaching New Managers” for more insight.

5. Train Employees for Change

Employees of all ages resist change, even though change is happening all the time in the modern-day workplace due to rapid technological innovation.
When developing employees across your organization, follow “Best Practices for Training Your Employees to Accept and Manage Change.”
Don’t let the differences among different generations distract you from effectively training and developing employees across your organization. Focus on their similarities, and follow the tips highlighted above instead.

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