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5 Ways Multigenerational Teams Can Improve Collaboration

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Working together as a multigenerational team isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Individuals of different generations often have different value sets and methodologies for approaching work. They might also prefer to use different software to support their respective work styles. The uncommunicated or misunderstood disparity in ideals can cause friction that may lead to serious conflict between individuals or entire teams. And organizational rifts can leave a lasting impression on a team’s culture that lingers like a thorny phantom.


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If it feels like your team is approaching such a rift, take heart. It’s not a fate your team is bound to, as many multigenerational teams have found ways to collaborate effectively. Because when it comes down to it, people are fundamentally more similar than they are different. Throughout history, people of diverse interests and backgrounds have been able to overcome their differences to achieve great things. So here are five ways your team can overcome multigenerational differences to collaborate more effectively.

1. Discuss Values

One of the biggest obstacles for multigenerational teams to overcome is value differences. People see the world through their own lens and unconsciously apply their values to everything they look at. Take three different people that see the same object — a stick lying on the floor of the woods, for example. A child might see the stick as a makeshift sword, whereas an ecology major might see the forces of decay working over time. A third person, a veteran dog breeder, may see the stick as a great tool to use for training.

Not only your age but also your role heavily influences the way you perceive the world. And, as it happens, older team members are generally in senior roles, with younger members in junior roles — but not always. Multigenerational teams can struggle to collaborate because of mixed perceptions, unspoken differences in values, and imbalanced power dynamics. So it’s important to make sure your organization creates space for ongoing value conversations between team members. Set aside time to explicitly discuss company values and give members a platform to voice their goals and concerns appropriately.

2. Ongoing Education

While many individuals and teams might have the best of intentions, that doesn’t mean they’ll always communicate effectively. It can be difficult to translate exactly what you’re feeling into intelligible, considerate, and persuasive speech. Many people’s ideals and perceptions are tied to their linguistic perceptions. If someone doesn’t have the right language, they can struggle to understand a certain concept. On the flip side, certain outdated language can cripple someone’s ability to absorb new information because it doesn’t fit with their previous paradigm.

Thankfully, there are diversity and inclusivity training programs aimed at helping people break outdated conceptions and incorporate new ones. You may find that some people are reluctant to undergo such a program. However, it’s important to make sure that your organization is inclusive of an ever-increasingly diverse workforce. Cultural differences will come into conflict if there isn’t sufficient workplace scaffolding and support established ahead of time. Plus, ongoing education facilitates a workplace environment of curiosity, growth, and lifelong learning.

3. Inclusive Bonding

Another reason why people in multigenerational teams may struggle is that they haven’t bonded enough. There are a host of different ways that people can bond, both positive and negative, but you’ll likely want to focus on the former. Negative bonding occurs when people share the experience of enduring adversity together without an appreciation for what has been learned that has been beneficial to both sides. Positive bonding occurs when people share uplifting, moving, and joyful experiences, generating positive momentum that carries teams forward. Both experiences can be conducive to helping teams collaborate, but negative bonding can generate internal, lasting rifts between parties.

It’s better, then, to focus on creating positive bonding experiences for your team whenever you can. Holiday parties and company retreats are classic examples of work-environment experiences manufactured to encourage positive bonding. However, in the case of multigenerational teams, it may be harder to hit the mark of what everyone would agree is a good time. So, just like having a values discussion, ask your team members what they’d like to do by putting it to a vote. A democratic outcome can be more palatable as people will usually tolerate, if not enjoy, what the majority voted on.

4. Adopt New Workstyles and Software

In addition to boosting team collaboration through socialization, it’s important to tackle the issue from a practical standpoint as well. The way that teams actually work together has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. Especially with the advent of the 2020 global pandemic, remote work has become more ubiquitous than ever before. And whether or not you personally are a fan of remote work, the reality is that many people are and will continue to seek opportunities that support it. Including remote workers is just one example of the kinds of various styles you may need to account for on a daily basis.

Using the appropriate software will help build up ongoing team collaboration. Besides email, there are myriad communications channels, video conferencing, gaming platforms, and other software that facilitate various office cultures. Even if your team is entirely local, using simple software like synced team calendars can make a big difference in workplace cohesion. It’s important to note here that some generations may struggle with new technology more than others. So make sure that you encourage younger generations to be patient and cultivate helpful mindsets.

5. Update Your Employee Value Proposition

The disparity of employee benefits can be a real sticking point for many people. Part of how employees are valued and how they feel valued is measured by what they’re offered. When employees feel like everyone is valued equally, or at least appropriately for their position, collaboration is easier. Being valued appropriately increases the respect people feel for each other, and respect greases the wheels of social interaction. Make sure that your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) reflects the people actually working at your business.

What kind of EVP do you offer your millennial employees compared to your baby boomer employees? Are there advantages that different generations can share, or is there too great a disparity? Employee wellness programs that focus on establishing a healthy work/life balance tend to be appealing to many generations. However, long-term investment programs and frequent social events may appeal to some more than others. When dealing with multigenerational teams, make sure you accommodate different needs and desires with an appropriate range of benefits.

Keep Working Forward

One of the greatest difficulties that arise between people in multigenerational teams is the disagreement that comes from holding different values. Your team will likely come into conflict if individuals aren’t able to effectively communicate their perspectives to each other. Diversity and inclusion training will help increase your team members’ communicational literacy. Facilitate respect between generations by educating people to use a common language — and common sense.

Likewise, encourage your teams to work together on the same platforms. These days, there are many workplace software available that make workflow pipelines more visible than ever. Offering appropriate benefits will help your team members feel valued. Having a diverse, multigenerational team doesn’t mean everyone has to be perfectly the same. More so, it’s about making sure everyone feels respected and heard by each other.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by RODNAE Productions; Pexels; Thank you!

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10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

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Self-care has become an all-encompassing term that has strayed from the importance of everyday commodities that keep us in good health and spirits. Though pampering and “treat yourself” moments still have value, here are ten ways to invest in yourself to produce long-lasting, positive results.

Related: 8 Self-Care Tips From Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Put money into a 401(k)

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for the future. Depending on your employment status, there are different retirement savings accounts. 401(k)s are the most common since these are employer-sponsored and often come with an employer match. However, freelancers also have options, such as a SEP-IRA or a high-yield savings account, to put away extra, tax-free dollars for retirement.

2. Schedule a health checkup

Self-care first includes taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to discredit regular checkups when you’re feeling healthy, but make this the year to get your blood work done. It creates a baseline for your health to identify areas needing improvement or extra attention.

Also, choose areas in your life where you can make small changes. Improving your health doesn’t always mean a drastic overhaul; it may be as simple as drinking more water or adding an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your day.

Related: 3 Key Tips for Optimizing Your Physical Health as an Entrepreneur

3. Review health insurance benefits

Many people with health insurance aren’t sure exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If you’re unsure, talk with your HR representative or your health insurance provider to get an overview of deductibles, co-payments and other supplemental benefits you may not be aware of. Then, decide if the health care plan makes sense for your current lifestyle.

Are you paying for benefits you don’t use, or do you need additional benefits that aren’t covered? Selecting the right plan will help ensure you have what you need without paying the extra expense for anything you don’t.

4. Ignite your curiosity

Maintaining healthy cognitive functions through new pursuits gives a boost to the brain. Get curious and find what speaks to you. This can be anything from exploring local museums, embarking on different hiking trails, learning a new language or reading more books.

There’s no limit to what you can do, and these activities can ignite more creativity and motivation in your work. While it may be helpful to look to others for inspiration, make them enjoyable so you’ll want to make them a regular occurrence.

5. Prioritize mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of people’s lives over the past few years, as many have experienced burnout. We often equate productivity with a value that drives us to go beyond our means and leads to anxiety, stress and depression. Take note of your everyday stressors and see how to reduce or eliminate them. Then, replace them with relaxing outlets that allow you to recharge.

There are various ways to prioritize mental health, from practicing positive self-talk to meditation to scheduling an electronics-free day. You may have to try different solutions before you find one that fits.

Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur

6. Implement good sleep habits

Consistent sleep is one of the essential factors of good health but one that is often overlooked. For many, it can be challenging to wind down from the workday. Therefore, you must “train” your body to prepare for sleep by getting into a nighttime routine.

Create a sanctuary for yourself to improve your sleep habits. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea, perform a skincare routine, and snuggle in with a good book rather than scrolling through your phone. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is dark and cool for ideal sleep comfort and turn on soothing sounds if it helps lull you to sleep.

7. Try something new

What have you wanted to try but have always held back? Maybe it’s public speaking or contributing to a blog. Whatever “new” has been on your to-do, make a plan, schedule it on your calendar and go for it. It’s common to hold back from these activities due to fear of the unknown or failure, but trying new things helps create confidence and can be the catalyst you need to push you to the next level.

8. Learn to set boundaries

Boundary setting is crucial to relationships yet can be difficult to master. It doesn’t always involve simply saying no to people’s requests. Instead, it requires protecting your own values when people violate them. Setting boundaries may mean spending less time with certain people, removing yourself from toxic situations, or declining invites to events that don’t improve your life. Explore areas where boundaries will help you grow, and keep in mind growth itself is a work in progress.

Related: How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

9. Spend quality time alone

Learning how to enjoy time spent alone is a valuable gift. We are inundated by a false sense of connection through the internet, which often makes us feel lonelier than ever. Then, we overschedule our calendars to make up for human connections, only to feel drained afterward. Slow it down and plan a few solo dates a month to see how it feels to be truly present with yourself.

For those who aren’t used to spending quality time alone, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable initially, but these stem from your own perceptions. Take in a matinee, sit in a coffee shop and read, or enjoy a concert or event you’ve wanted to attend. Alone time has been linked to improved stress management and greater life satisfaction, so it’s worth trying to give yourself more time.

Related: Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

10. Get active

Getting active can take on several directions. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual. The point is to engage with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Whether volunteering within your community, setting yourself an exercise goal, or learning more about personal development, there are endless ways to get active and invest in yourself this year.

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Are You a Winner? How to Truly Define Winning in Your Business

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Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can’t do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that’s most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

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Gen Z Is Making Ugg Boots Fashionable Again: Report

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Ugg boots, the furry, sheepskin boots that defined the 2000s are back, apparently, with spiking interest and Gen Z cachet, according to data from shopping website, Lyst.

The site’s annual quarterly report that highlights the “hottest” 20 fashion brands was released on Thursday, and, as Insider noted, Ugg is on it for the first time since the index began in 2017.

“Gen Z shoppers are breathing new life into once dormant brands … with over 1.2 billion mentions on TikTok — Ugg’s influence is undeniable,” the report notes.

The boots were also sold out of stores during the holidays, it added.

Generation Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, has demonstrated a penchant for bringing back old technology and trends, from flip phones to “vintage” headphones with cords.

But Ugg boots go back much further — the word “ugg” is actually a general term in Australia that means boots made from sheepskin and fleece, according to the BBC.

The company that created the “UGG” boot, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, is based in the U.S. and has tried and failed to trademark the word in Australia (where a court decided it was a generic word and thus could not be trademarked), the outlet added.

The company says the boots began to gain popularity in California in the 1980s. They were first featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000 (a huge brand-maker back then) and became “cherished commodities” early in the decade, according to Vogue.

The boots later gained prominence again with a fashion movement that prioritized “ugly” clothes, and have since become an unironic Gen Z favorite, per Insider. Kylie Jenner was also spotted wearing them in November.

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