Overcoming Generational Differences in the Office

Joe Weinlick
Posted by

If your advertising firm is like most offices, you probably have employees from multiple generations. The gap in the generation of workers can make it difficult to get projects accomplished because of the way people from the various generations think and work. According to the Wall Street Journal, baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, tend to be competitive. They work hard and want everyone to pay their dues. Generation Xers, people born between 1965 and 1977, tend to be skeptical and independent, and millennials, people born in 1978 or later, love technology, perform well in team-oriented environments, and like to hear a lot of feedback. For your advertising firm to be as productive as possible, it's important that all of your employees perform at their bests. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure each generation of workers feels confident enough to work together.


When you're trying to bridge the generation gap in your office, it's important to look at how your managers manage their teams. It's important to for them to give the younger workers a lot of feedback so that they are confident that they are doing their jobs correctly. Your managers should also learn to speak to your older employees differently than they do your younger employees. Older employees expect their managers to treat them with respect. Most older employees have been in the advertising field for a long time and feel confident that they know how to do their jobs, so teaching your managers to respect them and acknowledge that they bring a lot of knowledge to the team will help them perform better.


It's important for employees in the advertising industry to keep up-to-date with the latest trends so that they can produce ad campaigns that appeal to specific target markets. Because of this, continuing education is imperative. To ensure that everyone knows how to complete the job right and feels comfortable learning new things, your advertising firm should give your employees training options. Baby boomers appreciate a more traditional learning style and tend to respond well to things like PowerPoint presentations, while younger generations respond well to interactive technology driven learning environments.


If your advertising firm requires each team to work on ad campaigns as part of a team effort, it's important to accommodate each member of the team for them to work well together. To do this, you should make sure that your managers are focusing more on your employees' production than how they actually get the job done. Consider developing a mentoring program within your advertising firm that pairs older workers with younger workers. This way, people from different generations can learn from their peers' experiences.


Whether your advertising firm has ten or 1,000 employees, it's important that they all feel valued. Taking steps to help multiple generations work together creates a happier and more productive environment.


(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch