Workplaces throughout the country today are made up of four distinct generations – the Veterans (1922 – 1946), Boomers (1946 – 1963), Generation X (1963 – 1980), and Generation Y (1980 – 2000). Each of these generations has something to offer in the workplace, such as different values, needs and expectations. As an employer, if you are unable to properly manage and motivate your multigenerational workforce, your Company will soon face challenges in terms of retaining skilled workers and you will fail to leverage the true benefits of a multigenerational workforce. To survive this rare challenge of managing diverse generations of workforce, you need to learn about each of these generational groups, their needs and their motivations.
Understand the Four Generations:
By gaining a better understanding of these distinct generations, employers can use tailored recruitment strategies to fill their workplace with the best combination of each of these four generations of workers. Based upon what each generation values most, you can develop retention and engagement tools for long-time retention of your workforce. Besides this, individual understanding of each of these generations can help you in reducing conflicts arising out of expectations and values that each generation holds.
Effectively Manage your Multigenerational Workforce:
- Know your employees as individuals. Understand their unique needs and what's important to them and how can contribute to your Company.
- Communicate constantly and by using communication methods that each one of them best responds to – email, meetings, blogs or by walking around. Also, encourage communication to bridge differences between the different generations.
- Remain flexible in terms of approach that each generation follows in its working style. While the veterans are dedicated and hardworking, Generation X values flexible work schedules and dislikes rigid work requirements, while the Generation Y are excellent multi-taskers who seek out creative challenges and personal growth in their professions.
- Pay heed to the differences in the outlook on life that each generation holds, which may directly affect their commitment to work.
- Be a different leader to different members in your team. Find out how each generation wants to be managed and be flexible in your approach.
- Introduce programs or policies that indicate you care about your employees by offering them a work-life balance. This may be flexible working hours, an option to work from home, and offering wellness programs.
- Offer career development tools and programs to enhance the unique needs of each generation.
- Recognize individual strengths of each generation and plan opportunities for their growth.
- Encourage knowledge-sharing and experience-sharing between the generations to encourage an environment where the generations work together and perform as a team.