The Benefits of a Multi-Generational WorkforceFor your employees
Foster the individual talents of a multi-generational workforce and reap the benefits
Multi-generational workplaces can have up to four generations working together, at any one time.
This brings with it some challenges, but the rewards of having such a rich and diverse workforce, far outweigh the demands.
The workplace has changed a lot in the last 100 years. For some industries, like the legal sector, insurance and the health industry, it’s not uncommon to see people working well into their 70s and 80s.
For a young person just starting their career and an older, more experienced person who has seen technological advancements come and go, but built their career on experience, the disparity between the generations can sometimes feel too far-reaching.
The Traditionalists were born between 1927 and 1945. They are very loyal employees who work hard, long and cherish their jobs. They like to work in the office yet are less tech savvy than other generations and prefer one-on-one, face-to-face interactions.
Pair a Traditionalist and an employee from Generation Y (1980-1994) and you could be mistaken to think that the job will never get done. Generation Y prefer electronic communication, and the flexibility of working out of the office, where they still get the job done but prefer the flexibility of fitting work around their lifestyle. They hate meetings about meetings and are solutions driven.
Despite their differences, these two generations can work well together, especially in a team environment.
How do we make multi-generational workforces a success?
Here are a few tips:
- Harness the enthusiasm and creativity of Gen Y, they’re smart, creative and optimistic people who are used to finding solutions to problems (all those online games they play).
- Tap into the on-the-job experience and industry knowledge of Traditionalists and Baby Boomers. They can teach the younger generation a lot about risk, costs and stakeholder engagement.
- Consider a mix of face-to-face and digital communications so that the young generation aren’t forced to sit in long meetings about meetings, and the older generations are still getting the one-one-one connection with team members.
- Explain each person’s responsibilities on team projects so everyone understands the collective skill base required to get the job done.
- Provide individual support and encouragement to each team member so they feel you are supporting them to achieve their career goals.
What does tomorrow look like?
“Tomorrow’s workforce will look a lot different to today’s. Seventy percent of jobs are at risk of automation and 60 percent of people in higher education are preparing for jobs that either won’t exist or be radically effected by the time they get a job,” explains Dr Amada Allisey from HATCH Analytics.
“The demand for digital skills has increased by 200 percent since 2012, and everyone will be expected to have a significant proportion of digital skills for employment, going forward,” said Amanda.
Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) have been driven to climb the corporate ladder. But the ladder is disappearing, and they’re usually the people holding middle and upper management roles. As they resist Generation Y embrace the pace of change, because they’ve been exposed to it their entire lives. They’re used to sharing and have established and working networks at the ready.
As a result, the traditional hierarchy of CEO/Upper Management/Middle Management then the rest, isn’t as relevant for organisations as we move forward. A more fluid culture is driving the change that the multi-generational workforce needs to have, to embrace change.
The main resistance to a more fluid management hierarchy is the managers themselves. “In order to change culture so that workers can work better together, embed a culture that focuses on people. One of leadership (of self and others) first, and policies and processes second,” explains Jane Clifton, LeasePlan’s Director of People and Culture.
“LeasePlan is embracing a radical change in the way it approaches learning and development, through the use of micro-learning and agile methodologies which require an open mind. We’ll try something new, and if we fail, that’s okay, we’ll try something else,” explains Ms Clifton.
The future holds a connection between brain/body and technology and the future isn’t as far away as we think.
Infusing values into a workplace so you just know you’re a part of the organisation without having to use logos and tag lines to define everything, is where workforce culture is headed.
Work will be defined by hours not place
Not everyone will be commuting to work in the city. Business stands to save approximately $13,580 per employee if it allows them to telecommute. We already have work permeating our social time, with the smart phones.
The boundaries between work and social or home life have been blurred for some time now. Turning up to work at 9.00am and leaving at 5.00pm will happen less and less as people telecommute, phone in for online web-meetings and work from home.
Find out how can you ensure your employees are satisfied without putting further stress on your organisation with novated leasing.