A multigenerational workforce is not a new concept, but as a new community of tech-savvy builders enters the industry the gap between generations may seem wider than ever. Though there are some natural challenges that come with it, a multigenerational workforce also provides a more curious and diverse environment for all skill levels and ages.
Working in this setting can be one of the most beneficial experiences for builders if they take the time to learn from and invest in each group. Ultimately, bringing young employees in the workplace together with those outside their generational community contributes to a thriving, diverse environment that benefits all involved.
A multigenerational workforce creates a unique atmosphere for collaboration and growth on a personal and corporate level. Working with different generations can maximize your experience as a business owner. In order to do that, it's helpful to know a little bit about managing multiple generations at the construction site.
Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, and they’re commonly referred to in discussions about the aging workforce. They typically have the most experience and tend to be committed and direct, making them great leaders and managers on the jobsite. Though they may be slower to adapt to new tools, they have found proven solutions over time and are known for their resourcefulness.
These employees were born between 1965 and 1976, helping them serve as a bridge between older and younger generations. They tend to be fairly tech-savvy but may stick to some more traditional ways of building.
Millennials were born between 1977 and 1995. Known for being the first generation to be fully immersed in technology, they bring added curiosity-especially around topics of sustainable building.
Individuals that are a part of Gen Z were born in 1996 or later, making them the youngest of the five generations. These builders are typically very tech-reliant and are likely to bring new ideas to the table. What motivates Gen Z in the workplace? Meaningful work connected to a higher purpose encourages this group to roll up their sleeves.
Which category do you fit into? What about other members of your team? How can you tap into the skills of each one?
Though studies show that common values can unite generations in the workplace, there are some generational differences that can require intentional consideration in order to create a thriving workplace.
Communication style and expectations may need to be addressed in order to find a solution that works for all generations. For example, the rise of building influencers on social media has provided an avenue for builders to both share their expertise and to learn from others. LP has partnered with industry pros such as The Mexican Carpenter, Kyle Stumpenhorst and The Perkins Builder Brothers, who all provide firsthand experience in the industry and assist in reaching more builders where they are. They've all attested to the power of social media in making connections, sharing best practices, and growing their businesses.
Though there is no shortage of new building trends, Baby Boomers and Gen X builders demonstrate a loyalty to their craft that people who qualify as Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace can benefit from. Older generations tend to be more likely to stick to classic building techniques and jobsite habits, and unlimited access to information gives younger generations more new ideas. However, balancing the new with the tried-and-true makes for a well-rounded approach to the work.
Whether it's formal mentorship or offering a quick tip on the jobsite, all generations can benefit from collaboration with a common goal: to make their work-and the industry as a whole-better. LP remains dedicated to including people from all walks of life with the goal of setting an example for the building industry along the way.
Take into account any generation-based biases you may have about your peers or yourself when it comes to work, and be sure to learn strengths and interests of your peers in different generations. This will help you to understand them better and foster more natural collaboration.
Though newer generations of builders have less time under their belts when it comes to jobsite labor, their tech knowledge can be used to market their work and learn new skills. Gen Z and Millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips and aren't afraid to harness those skills. Social media, for example, can seem daunting to those who didn't grow up immersed in it, but its benefits continue to be proven by up-and-coming industry leaders.
Looking for more ways to connect? Read more about networking with other pros in the building industry.
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