When Three Generations Can Work Better Than One; Companies Are Mixing The Age Groups To Enable Staff Of All Ages To Better Understand Each Other

This article focuses on how best to “gen-blend” the three generations in today’s workforce. Successful cross-generational team-building efforts are examined that aim for a mix of skills, expertise and experience, where everyone participates in an environment where the senior people can learn what the younger generation can bring to the table. The young impart technical skills to older workers while letting them learn about their values, behaviors and ideals.

Readers encounter one company that launched a digital reverse-mentoring program where tech-savvy university students were brought in to tutor senior executives on changing trends in digital technology and how to use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The author notes that this sort of team-building is concentrated in technology, engineering and energy companies where tech knowledge transfer is particularly vital. She believes that these efforts can be enhanced when senior employees engage in a traditional mentoring relationship with junior employees. The Gen-Yers value the insights and guidance while the senior managers in turn get re-energized.

Source: Rebecca Knight, Financial Times (London); Sep 15, 2009

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