How To Lead Across Generations

by | Feb 25, 2022 | Articles | 0 comments

You don’t get it when your Gen Zers share memes with you. You don’t understand the difference between “kk” and “OK” when they reply to your message. You find them narcissistic and that they spend too much time on TikTok. You prefer email, but they reply to you via texts. You are probably having trouble communicating with the Gen Zers. If you can’t communicate well with Gen Zers, how are you going to lead your team when the majority of your juniors are them?


In reality, Gen Zers do not live in their own virtual world. They are more inclusive and tolerant of differences compared to the older generation. On the contrary, the older employees might find that “kids these days” are more disrespectful by questioning, “Why should I?” when Gen Zers want to find out if the projects they are working on resonate with the causes they are passionate about.


Do generations matter? Does the knowledge of generations help make you a better leader? Nobody likes to be stereotyped, especially when it is generational stereotyping. So, perhaps you could start by changing your leadership approach when managing a multi-generational team. Here are some tips that you can apply:

1) Respect Others in the Workplace

It might be good to understand the differences between the generations in the workforce. However, it would be harmful if we stereotype one based on their generation. To avoid being biased, it is crucial that we learn to respect each other. 

Every individual is exposed to uncontrollable events that later shape their sense of purpose in their life and career preferences. For instance, a fresh graduate who landed a job during the pandemic might prefer flexibility and virtual meetings due to the remote work style that he/she got accustomed to. On the contrary, an individual who landed an offer during the Great Recession might put financial security as an ultimate priority and would remain with the nine-to-five schedule. Thus, we should avoid assuming their work performance based on age alone, as experiences vary across individuals and generations. 

2) Be Open About Your Preferences

Put age aside and ask what your team prefer as their mode of interaction instead. Some individuals might prefer to have physical discussions with their colleagues and clients as they find that it helps build a more personable and long-lasting relationship. On the other hand, some prefer to communicate over emails and texts which they think is more efficient. To make the conversation work, it is important to compromise and view differences as a learning experience. 

3) Set Healthy Boundaries at Work

As you build relationships with your team, there are some topics that we need to handle extremely well, as some might view it as a taboo topic to be discussed at the workplace. For instance, topics related to race, ethnicity, gender, election, politics, and religion. So, how do you uphold your values, boundaries and ground rules while managing a team consisting of both older and younger employees? In this situation, your role is to ensure that the discussion is related to the company’s mission and vision. For instance, it is not necessary that your team agree with you on the priorities when it comes to creating an inclusive workplace, but it is crucial to help them understand why the company values, diversity highly. 

Want to learn how you can bridge the generational gap in your team? Book a free personal demo with our friendly expert team, so that you can communicate better with your multi-generational colleagues.


Emma Waldman 2021, How to Manage a Multi-Generational Team, Harvard Business Review, viewed 18 February 2022, <>.

Killian Fox 2021, Dr Sarah Ogilvie: ”Generation Z are savvy – but I don’t get all their memes, The Guardian, viewed 18 February 2022, <>.


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