How Active Learning Supports a Multigenerational Workforce

Today’s workplaces often include employees from several different generations, each bringing unique strengths and valuable perspectives. However, this diversity can also lead to significant challenges. Different age groups may have varying work styles, values, and communication preferences, which can cause misunderstandings and conflicts. 

For instance, older employees might prioritize face-to-face interactions and a structured work environment. However,  younger employees tend to prefer digital communication and flexible work arrangements. Addressing these differences is crucial for fostering a cohesive and productive work environment.

However, Crestcom, an innovator in leadership development, offers a solution through its Crestcom L.E.A.D.R. program. This program uses active learning to help bridge the gap between generations and develop leadership skills. Let’s explore how active learning can support a multigenerational workforce!

Understanding the Multigenerational Workforce

First, it’s important to understand the different generations in the workforce:

  1. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964): They are known for their strong work ethic and loyalty. They prefer face-to-face communication but might not be as comfortable with technology as younger generations. Baby Boomers appreciate a structured learning environment with clear objectives, and enjoy hands-on training. 
  2. Generation X (born 1965-1980): This generation values work-life balance and is quite tech-savvy. Gen X is often seen as independent and resourceful. They prioritize efficiency in communication, including face-to-face or telephone conversations. Gen Xers appreciate flexibility in learning and value practical, real-world applications of new knowledge.
  3. Millennials (born 1981-1996): Highly skilled with technology and enjoy working in teams. They seek purpose in their work and value opportunities for learning and development. They prefer digital communication and tend to avoid phone calls. Millennials thrive in collaborative and interactive learning environments. 
  4. Generation Z (born 1997-2012): Sometimes referred to as “Zoomers,” Gen Z is a group of true digital natives who grew up with technology. They value diversity, inclusion, and flexible work environments. They bring fresh ideas but may lack workplace experience. Gen Z favors interactive and engaging learning experiences and appreciates visually engaging content in small, manageable chunks. 

The Role of Active Learning in Leadership Development

Active learning is a teaching method that encourages students to take an active role in the learning process. Instead of simply reading, listening or memorizing, students are encouraged to get more hands-on. Active learning involves engaging participants in the learning process through discussions, problem-solving, role-playing, reflection and collaborative projects. 

Crestcom L.E.A.D.R. uses active learning to develop critical leadership skills through real-world applications and continuous feedback. Through group activities, role-playing exercises and meaningful discussions, our participants share perspectives and insights into real-world situations. 

Here’s how active learning supports a multigenerational workforce:

Promoting Inclusivity and Respect for Diverse Perspectives

Active learning environments encourage everyone to share their ideas and experiences. This is important in a multigenerational workforce, where different perspectives can lead to innovative solutions. By involving all generations in discussions and problem-solving activities, active learning helps build mutual respect and understanding.

Enhancing Engagement and Retention

Traditional training methods may not effectively engage all generations. Active learning, with its interactive approach, keeps learners of all ages interested. By actively involving participants, Crestcom L.E.A.D.R. helps improve knowledge retention and application.

Engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organization, which reduces turnover rates and associated costs. This is particularly beneficial for Millennials and Gen Z, who value meaningful engagement and continuous learning opportunities.

Bridging the Technological Gap

One major challenge in a multigenerational workforce is the varying comfort levels with technology. Active learning incorporates technology in ways that are accessible to all generations. Through collaborative tools and digital platforms, older employees can become more comfortable with technology, while younger employees can gain insights from more experienced colleagues.

Encouraging Lifelong Learning and Adaptability

Active learning fosters a culture of continuous development, essential in today’s fast-paced work environment. It encourages all employees, regardless of age, to continuously improve their skills and adapt to new challenges.

The Crestcom L.E.A.D.R. for Life program ensures that leadership development is an ongoing process. This culture of continuous learning benefits all generations, helping them stay relevant and competitive.

Building Collaborative Leadership Skills

Leadership in a multigenerational workforce requires collaboration. Active learning emphasizes teamwork and problem-solving, which are essential for effective leadership. By participating in group activities, employees learn to leverage each other’s strengths and work towards common goals.

This collaborative spirit helps bridge generational gaps, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. Leaders trained through active learning are better equipped to manage and inspire diverse teams.

Implementing Active Learning in Your Organization

To leverage the benefits of active learning for a multi-generational workforce, consider these steps:

  1. Assess Training Needs: Identify the specific skills and knowledge gaps across different generations in your workforce.   
  2. Choose the Right Program: Select a leadership development program that uses active learning, like Crestcom’s L.E.A.D.R. program.
  3. Create an Inclusive Culture: Encourage participation from all generations and create a safe space for sharing ideas and experiences.
  4. Utilize Technology: Incorporate digital tools and platforms that facilitate collaboration and continuous learning.
  5. Measure Impact: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the training program and make adjustments as needed.

Active learning is a powerful tool for bridging the generational gap in today’s diverse workforce. By promoting inclusivity, enhancing engagement, bridging the technological divide, encouraging lifelong learning, and building collaborative leadership skills, active learning helps create a harmonious and productive work environment. 

How Crestcom Can Help

Managing a multigenerational workforce is challenging, and requires strong leadership skills. Crestcom L.E.A.D.R. for Life focuses on the core leadership skills our managers will need to create a productive and engaged workplace. 

With modules focused on communication, inclusion, building trust, managing conflict, and so much more, our training programs will help employees of all ages thrive! To find out more, contact a Crestcom trainer in your area today