Working across the generations that are currently active in our workforce has its share of challenges. Team growth often develops through experiential learning. Are you encouraging new experiences?
What creates more knowledge? Perhaps, many would quickly suggest more experiences are helpful.
Those that have been in the workforce the longest, the traditionals and baby boomers, often consider that they have vast experience.
Of course, on one hand, that is hard to argue. On the other, we may question how deep their experiences are with the latest technologies.
When we jump to the other end of the spectrum, we may decide that the most recent generations, the millennials and Gen Z, lack general workforce experiences. The stereotype is that they are well educated, but come up short on navigating workplace politics, etiquette, and soft skills.
Perhaps the key for everyone in the workforce is to consider that the best way to gain more experience is to engage in different experiences.
In training and development circles there are many different tools or vehicles for creating a learning experience. While there is lecture, video, and even storytelling, one of the best tools is often labeled, experiential learning.
Is that hands-on learning?
It’s true that hands-on learning is certainly a form of experiential learning. However, we can’t forget that soft skills can also be taught through forms of reflection, often known as experiential learning.
Reflection and Learning
Learning and development professionals will use tools such as assessments and case studies to drive subgroup and whole group reflections. Properly executed they can simulate (a form of hands on) real-world scenarios to create a more immersive learning experience.
Are you interested to harmonize your workforce?
Regardless of the generation and regardless of the organizational hierarchy. When you want team growth you are going to have to introduce new experiences.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.