How do we appreciate the generation that we have to rely on to build and operate our businesses? A generation that has always had a computer (also known as an appendage), was raised by "helicopter" parents, and will surpass the Baby Boomers in size. We need each other so how do we have the important conversations to help us all be successful?
First, what are the needs? Do you need employees to be on time and work certain hours or do you just need to make sure the work gets done? Do your employees need to have a cell phone on the table during a meeting or does the culture imply that this behavior is okay? In order to understand mutual needs, maybe we need to stop making assumptions.
Second, what kind of leadership do you provide? Are you accessible? Do you provide feedback regularly? If you are a Gen-X'er, you want to be left alone and don't need constant feedback. The children that were raised by the Gen-X'ers do because guess what, that is the world in which they were raised. So adapt your leadership style to motivate your employees.
Conversations of curiosity with all employees will help to better build understanding and bridge what seems to be a vast divide. And if the conversation feels too difficult, there are resources to support your goal.
Sunny E. Sassaman Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Consultant