3. Adapt your management style for each generation.
Leading four different generations often requires you to have four different management styles. For example, a Baby Boomer manager was managing a Millennial employee. Every day at 5 p.m. the employee finished his work for the day, shut down his computer, and headed home. Even though the employee was scheduled to leave work at 5pm, and there were no major projects or deadlines looming, the manager wanted to write up the employee for not staying later. The real problem was that the Baby Boomer manager valued long hours on the job, while the Millennial employee valued life balance. The point is that you can’t manage according to your value system. Rather, you need to manage according to the employee’s value system.
Likewise, when conflict does arise, you need to put your biases aside. So if a Veteran and a Gen X’er are having challenges with each other, and you’re a Gen X manager, you can’t naturally side with your fellow Gen X’er, just because you share the same values. Rather, you need to be objective, understand the communication style of each person involved, and manage according to the situation and the people involved.