Ensure you never miss an issue of the
real estate business bulletin
Bridging the great generation divide

Bridging the great generation divide

by Heidi Walkinshaw 0 comments

We now have more generations working in the industry at the same time than ever before in history.

In our office, we currently have four generations working together – or not, in some cases. I recently had a millennial complain to me that a new “gen Z” employee had just started and that “they were just awful”, adding, “If I had behaved the way she does when I started, I wouldn’t have a job!”

To which I must argue: is this really the case? Or do many of us have very short memories? 

I know when I was a 20-something, I pushed buttons, said inappropriate things and made mistakes. I recently had a previous employer joke I had aged him 20 years in the almost eight I had worked for him! I have an almost two-year-old that pushes boundaries every single day and, while it is tiring, it is fantastic! Their job is to push the boundaries, to challenge the norm. Is this not the case with the next generation? Hell, I’m in my thirties and I still push the boundaries, where I can.

Psychologically speaking, the brain does not mature until the age of 25, and this benchmark, it's been argued, is the turning point from the adolescent brain to an adult. Now, I will get those from the younger generation who will argue the point that they are more mature and, while I don’t disagree, the science is there. While it can be incredibly frustrating and challenging, there is a perfect opportunity to harness the energy they bring and guide it into something successful. 

One of the biggest challenges faced by employers is balancing the generations in their workplace and having them all on the same path to a common goal. Creating an environment that fosters mentoring among employees can assist in bridging the divide. Younger generations can learn from the wealth of experience that older generations have conquered, while older generations can learn more efficient and technologically advanced ways to carry out their tasks and learn something new.

It is also vital to deal with any conflict that may arise in the workplace. Rather than sweeping it under the rug, discuss the issues and foster an environment where employees feel they can approach management with any issues they may be having with their counterparts. It needs to be understood that all generations have something to bring to the table, and it is important to deal with any conflict in a productive manner.

It is also a good point to remember that while experience and lessons can be learnt, enthusiasm cannot, and while it can be time-consuming to train someone in the tricks of the trade, if they have the enthusiasm to make it, you are halfway home. Plus there is an abundance of great training, like that on offer at Real Plus, to help have your team hit the ground running in no time.

Each generation can learn from the one who went before in some way or another. Instead of complaining about them incessantly, how about work together as a team, harness the strengths, work on the weaknesses and build a better future for all. 

Bridging the great generation divide
lawyersweekly logo

Heidi has been immersed in property management for over 14 years’ dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. Adding to the mix with 5 years as a Trainer and Consultant, Heidi has worked with small and medium-sized rent rolls in implementing systems and procedures to increase efficiency, growth and profitability within agencies. 

Heidi brings enthusiasm and energy to Real Plus and is passionate about system implementation; procedures and staff training that can assist in reducing stress and saving time while helping clients have a more profitable property management business. 


More articles from this author:
promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
Listen to other installment of the Real Estate Business Podcast
reb top 100 agents 2017

The REB Top 100 Agents ranking is the foremost ranking of agents in Australia. It has set the bar for excellence in Australian real estate. To be ranked as an REB Top 100 Agent is the standard real estate professionals strive for. See the full 2018 ranking here!

featured podcast

featured podcast
An industry where the resilient succeeds

Tim Heavyside believes that a strong support team and good foundations are paramount to success in the real estate industry, and with regu...

View all podcasts

Would you consider working for Purplebricks or a similar 'DIY' model?

Yes (7.2%)
No (80.9%)
Perhaps - make me an offer (12%)

Total votes: 209
The voting for this poll has ended on: July 13, 2018
Do you have an industry update?