3 Ways to Survive the Office Generation Clash
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It seems with each year and with each new employee, offices and workplaces get harder to manage and handle. The rise in diversity of the modern workplace means that the chance of ideas and worldviews clashing is higher than it has ever been. And with new generations coming in, this will only worsen.
I recently did an interview with Office Culture Specialist and Author Jocelyn Greenky, who brought up an interesting point: For the first time ever, there are currently five generations of people working side-by-side.
“It will be a group effort moving forward because every single company will be comprised of different cultures and ages," Greenky said.
While this is mostly a problem for leadership to solve, it's also a problem everyone should tackle. I'm a strong believer in everyone doing their part to enjoy work, but in order to enjoy your daily activities, you must know how to deal with your co-workers.
Here are three ways you can stay sane, get along with your co-workers and still be productive in the modern workplace.
1. Respect the system.
Each workplace has its own unique culture that is, on some level, a compromise between what leadership needs and what employees want. In many workplaces this compromise is unfair and strongly biased toward what leadership needs, but you must respect it nonetheless.
According to Entrepreneur, company culture is a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.
Respecting the cultural system and the fact that it's in place, saves you a lot of frustration. Even more, if every co-worker agrees that the system is in place, it gives you common ground. Even if the common ground is agreeing that the system is terrible.
2. Understand co-workers' goals.
Nothing brings people together more than identifying common goals.
Unless management has already failed, each person in an office has a role to play and offers some sort of value to the company. That means even the most annoying people are doing something that helps you. The best way to understand what everyone is doing is to advocate the use of and implementation of open goal-setting systems, such as Objectives and Key Results (OKRS).
Over the last year, OKRs have become increasingly popular. Google Ventures Partner Rick Klau gave a presentation on how OKRs work last year. It gives a good overview on how open communication is a major key to success.
OKRs ensure everyone has clearly identified goals, and understands how others' work affects their's.
In the words of President Barack Obama, “You need to make compromises even when you know, you're 100 percent right.” I agree with him. For a system to work, everyone needs to come together, and use the open communication systems mentioned before.
Without diversity in the workplace, there's no brainstorming, no breakthroughs and no progress so learn to respect the system, understand others, and compromise.