From 16 to 65, the magic of multi-generational teams

With four generations spanning Boomers, Gen Z, Millennials and Gen A, modern workforces are the most age diverse they have ever been. With the benefits of office based working, flexible hours and advances in technology, conveyancing is an widely attractive career to employees across the spectrum, from 16 to 65. 

But how often do leaders consider the challenges posed by the generational gap across teams? Or the benefits that can be harnessed from using the variety in ages to their advantage? Employees at all levels have something to give to the workforce, regardless of age and when handled correctly, each generation has something special to offer the workplace and fellow team members. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the urgency of future talent and new technology. While our profession has a lot to gain from the implementation of digitised process and workflows, there is an unrivalled client benefit to working with multi-generational teams. But it has to be managed authentically and without bias, which can be tricky. Here are a few elements we consider at Aconveyancing when team planning.

Clear communication guidelines

Communication preferences across the generations can be an obstacle for effective workflows and with the influx of different platforms for keeping in touch, it can often cause confusion, which inevitable can lead to missed actions or miscommunication. We keep things simple to avoid these hiccups, plus it’s easier for all staff to focus if there are clear boundaries on how we chat or share information. All professional and client relevant communication must be kept solely on a clear chain of email, simple language, no slang. While non-professional conversation can be enjoyed by all on the company WhatsApp Group, where staff can use as many emojis as they wish… and I can assure you, they do!

Reverse mentoring

Traditionally, professional mentoring is considered to be the passing of knowledge and support from a highly experienced member of staff down to someone with less experience. At Aconveyancing, we have found that switching up that format has proved beneficial to more experienced staff, specifically when lacking confidence with adopting new technology. Similarly, our apprentice team have taken the lead with environmental policies in the workplace; adopting, implementing and communicating best practice across the business and supporting staff at all levels in making positive change.  An age-diverse workforce is a superpower if leaders are able to harness the team and use it to their advantage, applying the right person to the right situation when needed. As advice and guidance is shared in both directions, the opportunities for senior employees to gain awareness from junior employees in “reverse mentoring” can provide powerful learning opportunities for older colleagues. When handled well, these relationships build better networks within the office.

Responding to generational needs

As an employer of staff across four generations, I am keenly aware of the different needs people have at every stage in their lives. And it’s my job to respond to this by understanding that not one benefits package suits all.

We have parents caring for children of all ages. We have staff caring for elderly or sick parents. We have younger employees who want to travel to new places or make the most of long weekends with friends. Whether it’s pension options, flexible working policies or a four day working week, putting the right benefits in place to respond to the needs of staff at all stages of life is crucial to building and fostering a team spanning the generations.

I really believe that in our profession, with so much emphasis on delivering a personalised client service, multigenerational workforces are key to growth and provide invaluable on-the-job learning opportunities that reverse in both directions when handled carefully. I encourage all leaders who are looking at options for automating the conveyancing process to never forget the combined power that both youth and experience bring to the workforce.

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