In June 2022, University of Phoenix hosted the webinar “Building Bridges Among Generational Differences in the Workplace,” the latest in its acclaimed Educational Equity Webinar Series. Fronted by career strategist and leadership development coach LaTasha Williams, the event centered on tackling the generational gaps that can arise among work colleagues.
A workplace’s inevitably diverse makeup of employee ages, skill sets and perspectives can lead to generational differences and, sometimes, conflict. The webinar provided an opportunity for employers, educators, higher-education leaders and administrators, government affiliates, non-profit organizations, DEI practitioners and University of Phoenix students, staff and alumni to learn about the changes employers can integrate to accommodate generational differences in the workplace and minimize such conflict.
Each generation, from Generation X to millennial to Generation Z, has come through the education system in a new way, with different resources, technologies and social understanding. However, workplaces need collaborative systems and processes that suit workers from all generations. During the webinar, Williams explained how employers can accommodate these variations to cultivate a harmonious and successful business.
LaTasha Williams’ Secret to Success
Williams founded her company, The Modern Millennial, to educate others on how to achieve their ideas of success. Williams achieved her own success by tapping into the psychoanalytic business acumen she’d learned along the way. Her business mantra succinctly summarizes how to utilize the power of other generations while remaining true to one’s own abilities:
“Teach leaders how to act like their generation but harness the power of the next while learning how to uncover your power in the workplace.” Williams refers to this approach as her “secret sauce.”
The key of Williams’ mantra is in leadership. Individuals in positions of authority should work to understand other generations’ working styles. Without this understanding, there is an increased chance of conflict and frustration. Flexibility is also vital for effective leadership, exemplified by the need to communicate across the generational divide. This communication should include educating colleagues or employees on the generational gap and informing them on how we each work best through different processes.
An acknowledgement that education and the working world have evolved significantly over the past several decades and that what works for some employees may not work for others is an important step in accommodating generational differences.
For example, while older generations are less likely to be proficient in social media than younger generations, younger generations may not be as accustomed to physical documentation as older members of a team. This doesn’t mean employees in either of these generations will be unable to work with such resources, but they can benefit from working in the most comfortable way for them to achieve their maximum.
During the webinar, attendees considered the definition of a generation, exploring generational stereotypes and the insights these offer into the generational gap.
The outcomes of the webinar were to:
- Understand myth-busting generational talk and realign perspectives from stereotypes to instead understand defining moments that answer the question: What is a generation?
- Reconfigure individual perceptions on what a generation is, and is not, to teach, train, coach and develop others in a multi-generational workplace
Once individual perceptions have begun to change and team members have a more in-depth knowledge of the psychological and sociological differences between generations, a healthy and cooperative workforce can form.
The generational divide can be a big stumbling block in many businesses, but there is pride in educating individuals who can return to the workplace with an understanding of how and why they, their colleagues and their employers must bridge the gap.
University of Phoenix’s Educational Equity Webinar Series
The “Building Bridges Among Generational Differences in the Workplace” webinar has proven to be another success in University of Phoenix’s Educational Equity Webinar Series, and the University looks forward to hosting further webinar events.
The University’s students are the future workforce that will enter an unfamiliar world wherein they must mix with the generations before them. It is a university’s role to prepare them to tackle the challenge.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is dedicated to progressing nontraditional learners’ and adults’ educational needs while helping students get the most out of their chosen degree programs. The University’s array of programs prepares students for in-demand job roles post-graduation such as roles in cybersecurity, nursing and business. The University is committed to meeting the needs of all prospective students, providing flexible start dates, online classes and numerous scholarship applications.
On top of this, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® are available to active students and graduates, providing the resources needed to be prepared when entering the workforce for no additional charge. This support includes resume editing, interview preparation and education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit http://www.phoenix.edu/.