How intergenerational teamwork enriches the workplace
November 14, 2022
Working together with other generations seems sometimes challenging, but believe in our experience, the advantages are greater. At Semicon Europa, Marco Fasel, Team Leader Industrialization at Comet, together with 3 other panelists will talk about exactly that – leveraging generational differences in the shifting workplace. Before joining the panel discussion, on November 15th, where participants will demonstrate how inclusive leadership is essential to building a diverse and sustainable workforce, we wanted to get a feel of what it is like to lead such a multi-generational team. Marco, experienced in the field, tells us more.
How do you experience cross-generational collaboration at Comet?
It’s a huge benefit. Because so many generations work together in teams, know-how is seamlessly passed on between all team members. When we work together on a project for example, everyone is curious to learn from each other and thus take the project forward. It’s also important to note that in certain topics it’s not the age that determines how knowledgeable someone is, but what experience they have already gained in their careers.
That all sounds really great, but are there sometimes difficulties when different aged people work together?
There are challenges sometimes, yes. I notice that in my team, people approach a task or a problem very differently sometimes. People are influenced by the systems and programs that were current at the time they did their education, so everyone has been taught a different way of how something is done correctly. This can make it difficult to standardize a process.
So, what advice can you give to other team leaders?
Intuition and sensitivity are key. As a team leader, you have to find a certain balance between standardizing workflows and catering to the individual needs of the team members. The most important thing for a team leader should always be to reach a goal efficiently; to focus on the progress.
Something that can also help a lot is directly addressing the fact that different generations are working together. It creates a certain awareness and helps in understanding why two team members may think differently about a problem.
When thinking about the different approaches to work, what can younger people learn from their more experienced colleagues and vice versa?
What I personally admire about my more senior colleagues is their way of interacting with suppliers and customers. It takes a lot of experience to know how much small talk is needed, how to address challenges and problems, and how to make it so that both sides are satisfied at the end of the day. Another thing younger people can learn from their older peers is the determination. Instead of thinking of every possible option and outcome, just making a decision and sticking to it would be more efficient at times.
The other way around, I think older generations could benefit even more from new technologies by learning from their younger colleagues. Sometimes a bit of youthful recklessness is beneficial when trying out new things.
We talked a lot about differences, but what unites employees at Comet?
Within all of us is the fascination for technology. Our curiosity motivates us to explore something new every day, be it an innovation or just trying something new at lunch. When I asked my colleagues how important the culture of a workplace is to them, they all responded saying it’s extremely important. It’s important to know that everyone’s work is valued and recognized and that we can speak openly to anyone at Comet, be it an apprentice or the CEO.
About Marco Fasel
Marco is at the lower end of generation Y. He started his career as a precision mechanic apprentice and later got a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. In summer of 2018, he joined Comet as Development Engineer & Project Manager. Since March of 2022, he leads a team responsible for New Product Introduction and Product Support for vacuum capacitors as Team Leader Industrialization. Marco has just completed his EMBA in General Management from the Berne University of Applied Sciences.
Don't miss Marco in the Panel discussion
«Leveraging Generational Differences in the Shifting Workplace»
November 15 - 2:50PM - Executive Forum, Hall B1 - Semicon Europa, Munich
With three other experts, Marco Fasel will talk more about his experience with intergenerational teamwork at Comet.
At Comet, we firmly believe that innovation, in a world with finite resources, improves all our lives. We are proud that through excellent teamwork, we find solutions that provide sustainable progress and improve safety, security and quality of life for us all.
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