Why a Multigenerational Workforce is Good for Business
These days, it is common to see a company with a diverse workforce.
For one, it is an emerging trend, with millennials slowly making the lion’s share of the labour force. Second, having a multigenerational workforce can benefit a company.
Since many generations make up today’s workforce, you will likely see various work styles and habits.
As an employer, your job is to implement strategies that can help you make the most out of this diverse workforce.
But before, let’s define what a multigenerational workforce is.
What is a Multigenerational Workforce?
In a nutshell, a multigenerational workforce is made up of people from different generations.
Usually, the average lifespan of humans is increasing. Therefore, more and more individuals are choosing to work well beyond the average retirement age.
The age diversity of the current workforce is the widest ever. It’s now common for organisations to have employees working side by side, representing at least four or five generations.
These groups are defined as:
- The Silent Generation (Traditionalists) were born between 1928 to 1945.
- Baby Boomers were born between 1946 to 1964
- Generation X was born between 1965 to 1980.
- Generation Y (Millennials) are born between 1981 to 1996
- Generation Z are born between 1997-20122
The presence of multiple generations expands the available talent pool, shifting its demographics. However, not many employers are focusing on taking advantage of this.
5 Generations You can See in the Workplace
As mentioned, there are many benefits of having a multigenerational workforce. Every generation has its strengths, concerns. They also have different styles and expectations that can create much tension.
This generation carries reliable and loyal traits and is mainly motivated by recognition and respect.
Since they have the most experience out of any generation, their primary goal is to provide a long-term value to the firm as much as they can.
They prefer to communicate offline with a more personal touch. Don’t be surprised if you get a spoken word or praise or a handwritten note.
Moreover, they view their age with seniority. Traditionalists work well with teams because they value obedience and loyalty over individualism.
Employers should ensure to provide them with satisfying opportunities to be able to contribute to a team. That way, they can maintain a more stable balance within the team and give direct feedback.
Baby Boomers are known to have a strong work ethic, competitive, and are team-oriented.
Most of them prioritise their professional accomplishments. So, don’t be surprised to see their rewards at their desk.
To get these accolades, they’ve set goals for themselves and used their competitive nature to achieve these goals.
When it comes to workplace socialisation, Boomers are typically more reserved. That’s because they tend to look for the most efficient way to complete tasks.
One-to-one communication is also their preferred method. They’ll even write letters to individuals if they have to.
When working with this generation, giving them specific deadlines and goals is the best pathway to success.
When placed in managerial or mentor roles, they provide excellent work ethic advice. They also work well as coaches in the workplace because of their direct feedback style.
Born in between Baby Boomers and the Millennials, this generation brings a different mindset to the workplace.
Usually, Generation X brings in a sense of balance to their teams. They fill in roles and are independent with the tasks given to them.
They favour diversity, and work-life balance, looking for ways to improve their companies and teams. They also love working with others and diversifying their routines to give a more personal touch to their lives.
Having an independent mindset, Generation X finds ways to be efficient in their current workplace.
If their work-life balance is compromised due to the change in the workplace dynamics, they’re quick to move to another employment opportunity.
Usually, they are more resistant to workplace changes if these can jeopardise their personal life.
When working with Generation X, one of the best options is flexible ways to work. Providing adaptable arrangements will give Gen-Xers peace of mind and better professional relationships.
To maximise the value of this generation, you should offer personal development opportunities.
Millennials make up the largest generation of today’s current workforce. Many of them started working during a recession and have primarily impacted how they view their long-term careers.
Growing up in a society enabled by the Internet, they’re comfortable communicating virtually.
9 out of 10 Millennials own smartphones, and they have no trouble adapting to social media platforms than older generations.
In line with this, do not be surprised if they prefer to make correspondence via email, instant messaging apps, and SMS. That’s because this generation seeks more innovative and efficient means of working. This includes communicating and getting things done.
This also explains why they have a “startup mentality.” Simply put, millennials tend to spearhead projects that can help streamline the process. This includes automating repetitive tasks.
Millennials are also result-driven. Hence, they tend to seek change when a result is not achieved. This also explains why flexibility is vital for them.
Employers must know how to give immediate feedback to help them continue bringing value to the company.
Raised as digital natives, this generation views smartphones and other devices as essential to their lives.
Compared to previous generations, they’re focused on a person’s essence. They can look past a person’s ethnicity and race. Instead, they lean towards someone’s humour and maturity.
That’s because a more significant part of technology has shaped their relationships. One of the most significant concerns of this generation is student debt, affecting their employment choices.
Generation Z is also excellent at multitasking and using effective ways to achieve their goals. Giving them independence and freedom is critical for their development in the workplace.
They also prefer working with millennials as teammates or managers since they’re more relatable with one another.
Benefits of Having a Multigenerational Workforce in Your Business
Adding a wide variety of staff adds to the value of your organisation.
Younger employees are more likely to adapt to today’s rapidly evolving technology and adapt to changes.
In the same way, more mature employees have acquired knowledge and experience through the years. This acquired knowledge can guide them in the decision-making process.
Collaborating innovation with wisdom gained for experience brings in increased levels of productivity.
Here are eight more benefits of managing a multigenerational workforce:
Diversity of Experience
Your company can benefit from having people of varying age groups. The different ways they think, solve problems, interpret the world, and work around them can come in handy.
According to a study, 83% of employees can develop more innovative ideas and solutions since they have to work with an age-diverse team.
Younger individuals who grew up in the digital revolution have more exposure to innovation and digitalisation. Therefore, they’re more open to embracing new technologies and different ways of working.
On the other hand, older employees can contribute their industry knowledge and experience. This can lead to developing a long-term solution for the company and its clients.
By encouraging a more open collaboration, teams are more empowered to develop initiatives that integrate past learnings with innovation. This can lead to a future-proof, efficient, and streamlined solution.
The more diverse a team is, the more ways they can interact and learn from one another’s insights. This includes mutually beneficial mentoring opportunities.
Employees with years of experience can lend their advice to younger employees. Be it in career development, product ideation, and problem-solving.
They can share their knowledge and experience, including strong commercial acumen and practical business management strategies.
On the other hand, cross-generational mentoring allows junior employees to educate their seniors with innovative trends.
The more people interact in the office, the more they can understand and learn from one another’s insights, perspectives, and ideas.
Organisations with a diverse and engaging environment can help the company attract top talents.
That’s because a multigenerational workforce communicates career development opportunities. And this is something that you can boast about your company.
When a multigenerational team works on a project, they will approach it diversely. Moreover, the age difference forms varying opinions and viewpoints. This leads to creative and long-term solutions.
This allows you to benefit from the creativity that these differences tend to spark.
Creates a Healthy Talent Pipeline
Companies that tap into the talent and skills of a multigenerational workforce make it future-ready. That’s because younger employees lean towards innovation while older employees tend to think long-term.
By having a robust internal talent pipeline, employers can significantly decrease hiring costs.
Instead, they can focus their resources on career development and process optimisation. The same thing goes for expanding a company’s market reach.
Moreover, a company can recruit and retain future talent from any generation if they see that you’re committed to everyone’s success.
Making them feel included and appreciated provides a sense of belonging, fostering their loyalty to the organisation.
Bottomless Pool of Talent
Another benefit of having a multigenerational workforce is that it’s made up of more people. Instead of being limited to a particular age group, a multigenerational workforce is practically bottomless.
Not only will you have a deeper applicant pool, but it also means that your community and talent pipeline are also much more extensive.
Dynamic Work Environment
The depth of having a multigenerational workforce also makes the workplace much more dynamic. It allows your organisation to become more responsive and understanding to outside perspectives.
Since an organisation with multiple generations is accustomed to working with people from almost all walks of life, they’re more equipped to react accordingly.
By combining various perspectives and skills, it drives more creative solutions to problems. Life experiences affect how we relate and interact with other people and address conflicts and challenges.
As a result, teams with age diversity can develop several ways to address and find solutions to these problems.
Establishing a unique relationship with co-workers helps meet your employees’ emotional needs. This can contribute to their overall job satisfaction.
Having a variety of age groups within your organisation mirrors a family structure. This creates better opportunities for personal connections outside of one’s generation.
Tips to Attract a Multigenerational Workforce
Now that you know the advantage of having a multigenerational workforce, you might be wondering how you can attract such a pool of talents. Here are some corporate branding elements that you can follow:
- Communication. From your website’s career page to your blog. How would you describe your organisation, and is your messaging tailored to the organisation you’re trying to attract? If you already have a multigenerational workforce, you might include these varying viewpoints.
- Culture. If you’re branding your company culture, then make sure that you’re representing everyone’s values and priorities that you’re trying to attract.
- Core Values. Your company’s mission and vision aren’t just plaques meant to be hung on the wall. Chances are, people are looking to connect with what you do and why. Every generation has different priorities, especially with values that they prioritise. So, be authentic, at the same time, inclusive.
- Platform. The platform that you communicate with your brand is as important as how you are branding. Older generations might consider traditional media and print materials. Phone calls are also great for communicating with this population. Meanwhile, the younger generation prefers to respond to email, text messages, or chatbots. It is also helpful to consider how your company uses social media, as different generations are on various platforms.
Over to You
There is no doubt that building a multigenerational workforce is transformative and powerful. Hence, it can benefit your company.
That said, you should create a branding strategy that can help you attract this diverse pool of talents. That way, you can work on making your organisation future-ready.
As a result, you can provide excellent service and client satisfaction. And this can also reflect in your revenue and increasing bottom line.