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How You Can Bridge the Gap Between Many Generations of Construction Workers

May 21, 2021

Filed Under: EmployeesGeneral

With a growing need for younger professionals in the construction industry, we are seeing a blend of multiple generations working side by side: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. In order to create a positive working environment that promotes effective communication and productivity, it is important to understand how each generation behaves and operates, as well as how they can be influenced and trained. Here, the qualified team of construction professionals at Gray & Son discuss how you can bridge the gap between the different generations of workers on your construction job site. 

How to Communicate Effectively & Assign Jobs Based on a Worker’s Generation

Individuals from different generations all bring different skills, talents, and assets to the table. Once you have identified these skills, talents, and assets, it is important to realize what truly motivates each worker, as every generation will have different goals, interests, and circumstances. In order to establish an effective communication process, you must never stereotype, but rather focus on what each worker can do well and promote training and development to make each worker from all generations better than they were the day before. 

To further encourage a healthy and productive work environment, you may want to consider recommending jobs for workers depending on their generation in order to cater specifically to their top skills and attitudes. For example, Baby Boomers make great teachers and leaders, so placing them in a position of higher authority could allow them to train younger workers or write and implement important proposals. Those from Generation X are also effective leaders, allowing them to excel in complex projects that involve a lot of teamwork. Millennials are experts with technology, making them ideal workers for projects involving new and emerging challenges. Traditionalists are hard workers who care about how and why things are done, so jobs involving safety or compliance will make a great fit. Lastly, those from Generation Z are excellent entrepreneurs and multitaskers, making them your go-to employee for almost any last minute job assignment or task. Even though these are just some recommendations of where to place construction employees based on generation, they might be helpful to contribute to a successful and positive construction team work environment. 

Tips for Managing Workers from Different Generations

Learning how to manage a team of employees from multiple generations can be a challenging task. The following are several tips from Gray & Son on how you can manage workers from different generations within your construction team:

  1. Reverse Mentoring: Allow younger employees to train older generations then reverse the process. This will allow for multiple generations to be both the teacher and the student and enhance trust and communication.
  2. Provide Training: Provide frequent training on technologies and other new emerging machines or processes to allow older generations to catch up to the Millennials. Consider offering these training sessions at a slower pace.
  3. Focus on the Results, Not the Hours: Instead of focusing on when or how long it will take to complete a project, focus on how well a project was completed. Allow your workers to set their own schedules in order to be their most productive and efficient, as long as it aligns with company policies. 
  4. Set Clear Goals & Expectations: Especially regarding roles of leadership, be sure to clarify expectations for those roles and the job. Set clear goals for the project with strict deadlines for all generations to aim for and follow. 
  5. Embrace the Differences: Having a multi-generational team should be seen as an advantage. Embrace each employee’s differences in their strengths and skills, utilize a variety of communication methods, and encourage each employee to learn from each other. 

Contact Gray & Son To Learn More About a Team of Workers from Many Generations

Managing a team of workers from different generations can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Integrating workers from multiple generations can create a strong team full of unique skills and abilities to perform tasks efficiently and effectively. At Gray & Son, our team is full of workers from different generations and we constantly encourage the collaboration and cooperation of these workers both on and off the job site. To learn more about our qualified team of multi-generational workers or inquire more about our services, contact us today.