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Pay attention to shared interests.
Michele Sarkisian—strategy, growth and culture advisor—explains how to use shared interests to encourage cross-generational engagement among team members.
“I had a client that said that his average age in his company was 44 years old—that means a lot of people were getting ready to retire,” says Michele. “His concern was that these boomers that were getting ready to retire had nothing in common with the millennials that were coming on board. And the imparting of wisdom from one generation to the next both ways wasn't going to happen organically.”
This is a problem many organizations face. Watch the video to learn ways team members can find common ground with others no matter what generation they fall under.
What's fascinating to me today with the tools that are readily available out there, there are platforms, SaaS platforms, for example, that stimulate community and collaboration within an organization around shared interests. And those interests could be social, like fly fishing or dodgeball or yoga, or whatever. They could be philanthropic, like Habitat for Humanity, or something along those lines. And they can be company priorities, like Lean Sigma or technology learning or what have you.
The employees can share that they have interests in those areas and then they find out that the people who come together around those issues have nothing demographically in common with them. And they find that they're going to go off and play dodgeball together and go build a house together or learn Lean Sigma together. And so that's one of the things that cross-generationally, nobody is signing up by age group, they're signing up by interest level.
The other thing is, I think you can formalize mentorship programs and actually ask somebody who probably would enjoy imparting wisdom on someone else to do it and perhaps recognize them or reward them for doing it, and then it becomes a little bit more organic, it just got to kickstart. So I think that there are lots of ways to do it, but it's finding some common ground where somebody wants to receive information, the other ones to impart it, or they share something very organically around a shared interest.
Michele Sarkisian is an expert in growth strategy and execution, focused on aligning purpose, people and profit (P3). She has 30 years of experience helping senior executives design and execute growth strategies to capture market shar...
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