Bridging Collaborative Gaps:
Appreciating Intergenerational Strengths
Organizations have an immense opportunity to raise employee awareness regarding the best values, skills, and attitudes that each generation offers. This study was an appreciative inquiry with an intact multigenerational corporate team located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, studying the strengths that each generation brings to intergenerational collaboration. Perceptions about collaborative strengths were gathered in a workshop and via pre- and post-workshop surveys. Through analysis and interpretation of the study findings, unique strengths for each generation were revealed; discoveries were made around foundations for intergenerational collaboration and the role of the individual contribution to multigenerational collaborative behavior was acknowledged. Recommendations emerged, including: to build generational competence, lay the foundation for intergenerational collaboration, bridge intergenerational collaborative gaps, and apply knowledge to organizational policy and program development. Developing an appreciation for what strengths each generation brings to collaboration provides an opportunity for organizations to enable diverse teams and ultimately improve business performance.
The purpose of this study was to identify and raise awareness of the strengths from each generation. Through that enlightenment, the goal was to focus on ways to improve collaboration across a multigenerational workforce while helping organizations improve business performance. This was achieved by examining strengths in collaboration within a multigenerational organizational team in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The research question was:
What are the strengths of each generation that contribute towards effective intergenerational collaboration?