5 Tips To Build Millennial and Baby Boomer Relationships.

5 Tips To Build Millennial and Baby Boomer Relationships.

A workforce has different generations that include Gen Xers, Boomers, and Millennials. Every generation has its approach to work and life. A
workforce that has all the generations is advantaged because the employees provide a diverse collection of experience and skills. It is worth noting that the different groups have varying needs and insights. Millennials have a lot to learn from Baby Boomer Executives. They outnumber the Boomers, and they are the leaders of tomorrow. Millennials represent over 80% of the global workforce. In order to learn more, millennials must shift how they view their career and how they interact with their seniors every day. The interactions between the two generations have profound effects on organizations.

How Can Millennials and Baby Boomer Executives Get Along?

Many myths surround the conflict between the younger and older generations in the workplace. Organizational culture is vital in every organization. Work patterns and new technology are the two things that aggravate the frictions between the millennials and baby boomers. Baby Boomers were born between 1946-1964 whereas Millennials or Gen Y were born in 1980 or later. Millennials should not be viewed as an entirely new breed of humanity. Just because they have different approaches and perspectives when it comes to work should not make them despised. Combining the different approaches and philosophies can be challenging but worth a try.

  1.  Changing Perceptions 

The first step is changing the perception that the two generations have. Most baby boomers believe that millennials are lazy, entitled, impatient and unprofessional. Boomers are competitive and think that workers should pay their dues. They prefer traditional and static methods of training like handbooks and PowerPoint presentations. Millennials, on the other hand, may see baby boomers as old-school, strict and unapproachable. Millennials like feedback, teamwork, and technology. For their style of learning, millennials may gravitate towards more interactive technology-based learning methods. The key to making the two groups tolerate each other is to address and take advantage of the varying expectations and values of each generation efficiently. Realizing the fact that your execution, as opposed to your age, will determine your success is the first step of getting rid of the negative assumptions. If the top management ignores this message, the two generations may be at loggerheads.

  1.  Setting Expectations of Success

Managers have the responsibility of defining what hard work and success should appear in the organization. Organizational culture should focus on the results produced by employees instead of how they get it done. The two generations have a different understanding of the two terms. Most baby boomers have a firm belief that success means putting in long working hours in the office. They are process-oriented because during their time, working from home was unheard of. Millennials, on the other hand, take hard work to mean the quality of their output as opposed to the amount of time spent in the office. They can work from the comfort of their homes or coffee shops since they are always connected. They take success to mean being acknowledged and receiving positive feedback from their co-workers and managers. Both models are right; problems arise when the two generations hold each other accountable to the different standards. Millennials should consult with the leadership of the organization to remove any ambiguity. Millennials are ambitious and motivated, a reason why management should give them special assignments outside their job descriptions.

  1.  Fostering Dialogue with Baby Boomer Executives

Millennials and baby boomers each have preferred means of communication. Baby boomers have a preference for formal face-to-face conversations while Millennials are more tech savvy. They prefer using texts and email to communicate. Organizations offer both formal and informal channels of communication. Millennials can move their desks around to encourage dialogue with their seniors. An open office system will foster open communication and make millennials get used to the rigid management structure. Spending more time together is healthy for the two generations. It will boost their morale and eliminate the negative assumptions that both generations have about each other. It is not enough to get acquainted on a personal level inside the office; the employees can interact outside the office.

  1.  Finding A Common Motivator

The generational gap does not mean that the two generations disagree on everything. After interactions have become common, millennials and
baby boomer executives must look for a common motivator. It may take a long time to find the motivator, but the process is totally worth it. As a millennial, you should be creative and look for incentives that will work well with your seniors. Suggest to the management a joint project you can handle together or to arrange a catered lunch for both generations. Management needs to keep employees engaged to keep them interested in the organization.

  1.  Training and Mentorship Programs

Statistically, 75% of Millennials want a mentor according to a survey done by MTV. If done correctly, mentorship programs can significantly improve the relationship between millennials and baby boomer executives. Both generations have quite a bit to learn from each other. Baby boomers are usually more experienced, having been in their respective fields of expertise for more extended periods. Millennials should encourage management to pair them with baby boomers to strengthen their relationships and for them to have a better understanding of each other’s perspectives. You should focus on learning as much as you can on professionalism and career development. This way, you will develop new skills and viewpoints while cementing your relationship with baby boomer executives. Mentorship programs will bridge the generational gap resulting in reduced conflict and a stronger organizational culture.


Grappling with the two generational groups may prove to be challenging, but the above tips will help you make the interaction process smoother. The problems arising from differing communication styles and mindsets will be a thing of the past. It is hard to break the generational gap but not impossible. Impossible is just a mindset. Every organization needs to master the generational differences for them to yield impressive results.

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