Managing age-diversified teams has become a global challenge that line managers encounter today. The age gap entails the differences in terms of values and typical ways of working. It is also believed that age diversity may be a source of many group conflicts, unresolved tensions and negative stereotypes that occur in work environment.
Is that really the case? The research carried out by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in London) says otherwise. The age-diversified teams tend to work better, show greater ingenuity and innovativeness. Each person has got an impact – be it sharing knowledge (the generation of baby boomers) or answering questions like „what is the purpose of all this?” (a typical trait of the Generation Y, the so-called millennials).
The Coaching Maps is a powerful tool for all the managers that are willing to unlock the full potential of their multi-generational teams. It helps to bridge generational gaps and to create a friendly space for a collaboration based on complementary skills. The managers are given an opportunity to challenge the common stereotypes regarding age (e.g. during a „myth-busting” sessions), while the members of different generations are given a chance to mutually diagnose their strengths (e.g. during „gap-bridging” workshops). Working with the tool is also a great starting point for designing mentoring or knowledge-sharing programmes.
The shift in the age structure of workforce is inevitable and it will require many adaptations in terms of how we manage age diversity, because current business practice is not addressing the issue as effectively as it should. Nevertheless, by using a management tool that focuses on the potential of individuals and encourages teamwork it is possible to create a friendlier environment and to maximize the effectiveness of our age-diversified working groups.