Overcoming the Manage of Multigenerational Remote Teams

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Mar 8, 2024
Managing multigenerational remote teams requires inclusive communication, mentorship, skills-based hiring, customized management, and fostering community cohesion for success. Embrace diversity and prioritize open communication for remote team success.
Three focused professionals from different ethnic backgrounds in a lineup, managing multigenerational remote teams.

Managing a multigenerational remote team presents unique challenges, but with the right strategies, it can lead to innovation, growth, and a dynamic work environment. Here’s how:

Defining a Multigenerational Remote Team 

A multigenerational remote team is when people of different age groups work together. These groups usually include:

  • Traditionalists (born before 1945)
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
  • Generation X (born 1965-1980)
  • Millennials (born 1981-1996)
  • Generation Z (born after 1996).
Generational Traits and Communication Tendencies

Here’s a simple breakdown of what each generation is like at work and how they prefer to talk:

GenerationKey Work TraitsCommunication Tendencies
TraditionalistsLoyal, detail-focused, like rulesPhone calls, written notes
Baby BoomersLike to compete, focused on career, want to be noticedEmails, a bit of texting
Generation XLike to work alone, easy-going, practicalTexts, chat apps, emails
MillennialsGood with tech, want balance, care about causesTexts, social media, video calls
Generation ZLike to start things, care about impact, quickVideo calls, direct messages

What we can learn from this:

  • Older people might prefer talking on the phone.
  • Younger folks might like texting or using online platforms.
  • Video calls can help everyone understand each other better.

Knowing these differences can help leaders of remote teams connect better with everyone. With a bit of effort to help everyone get along, leaders can build teams that work well together, no matter their age.

The Challenges of Managing Multigenerational Remote Teams

Three smiling women of different ages in casual wear gather around a laptop on a kitchen island, with a small plant. Managing multigenerational remote teams.

Communication barriers often arise due to varying preferences, for example, older members may prefer phone calls, while younger ones opt for text or video chats.

In response to this, establishing clear communication rules and utilizing diverse channels, like video calls and chats, ensures everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves.

Meanwhile, mismatched work values and expectations can lead to friction within the team. For instance, younger members may seek rapid career advancement, while older colleagues prioritize stability. 

Leaders must openly discuss individual aspirations while setting clear team goals and flexible guidelines for career growth and work schedules. This approach fosters understanding and alignment, promoting harmony amidst diverse career expectations.

Addressing varying levels of technology comfort is essential for team cohesion. While younger members embrace new tech, older colleagues may require assistance adapting. By introducing new tools gradually, providing support where needed, and encouraging peer assistance, managers can develop a collaborative and inclusive remote work environment.

Strategies for Overcoming These Challenges

Promote Inclusive Communication

To ensure effective communication, utilize various methods such as email, messages, and video calls. Teach team members to use new tools and respect their preferred communication style while encouraging experimentation. 

Encourage Cross-Generational Mentorship

Pair up employees from different age groups to foster mutual learning and understanding. Organize sessions where team members can share experiences, implementing a buddy system for day-to-day assistance.

Emphasize the value of diverse perspectives in generating innovative ideas and enhancing teamwork.

Implement Skills-Based Hiring

Focus on skills rather than age or experience when hiring, providing training to bridge any skill gaps. Set clear goals based on competencies rather than tenure, forming teams with diverse talents and strengths. 

Customize Management Approaches

Tailor feedback and praise according to individual preferences, adjusting communication frequency and style accordingly. Offer flexibility in work hours and career growth paths, while maintaining clear rules and fostering open discussions about team needs. 

Encourage a sense of belonging through shared interests, celebrating both team and individual achievements regularly.

Foster a Sense of Community

Engage in team activities centered on shared interests to cultivate inclusivity, highlighting the value of diverse backgrounds and experiences within the team. 

Facilitate connection through storytelling and enforce rules against age-based assumptions, while regularly celebrating both team and individual successes for a cohesive and supportive work environment.

Key Takeaways for Implementing Solutions

A cheerful woman with short blonde hair leaning over a smiling man seated at a desk with a laptop that is managing multigenerational remote teams in a warmly lit room by a window.

To handle teams with people of different ages working from home, managers should keep these points in mind:

Promote Inclusive Communication

Establish communication guidelines, encourage trying new methods, and address issues in regular meetings.

Encourage Cross-Generational Mentorship

Facilitate mentorship, organize sharing sessions, and emphasize the value of diverse perspectives.

Implement Skills-Based Hiring

Prioritize skills over age, offer training for improvement, and form teams with complementary strengths.

Customize Management Approaches

Adapt feedback delivery, communication frequency, and growth opportunities to individual preferences.

Foster a Sense of Community

Organize inclusive activities, highlight the value of backgrounds, discourage age assumptions, and celebrate achievements. Through inclusive practices and flexible leadership, remote teams can thrive despite generational differences.

By doing these things, managers can help teams with people of different ages work well together at home. It’s all about including everyone, learning from each other, and using the team’s diversity as a strength with kind and flexible leadership.

Conclusion

Managing a team with diverse age groups, particularly in remote settings, is vital for promoting innovation and productivity. Implementing effective communication strategies, mentorship programs, skill-based hiring practices, customized management approaches, and community-building initiatives ensures inclusivity and collaboration, regardless of age.

Remember that some key takeaways include prioritizing open communication, facilitating cross-generational learning, emphasizing skills over age in hiring decisions, adapting management styles to individual preferences, and fostering a sense of belonging through community engagement. 

By embracing diversity and promoting a culture of understanding and inclusivity, leaders can harness the collective strengths of their multi-generational teams to drive success and innovation in the workplace.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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