If you are a modern company, you likely employ a workforce that spans over several generations. In fact, we’re currently seeing the most age-diverse work population in history. From Baby Boomers planning for retirement to Generation Z employees just starting their career journey, your workforce is a spectral generational assortment.
Accommodating all the generations you employ can be challenging. While the benefits of employing a generationally diverse team are numerous, differences can sometimes result in rifts for the company culture when needs aren’t managed effectively. Remember that each group has a variety of habits, strategies, and expectations they bring into the workplace, and you need to consider these carefully for each generation.
At its best, a multigenerational workforce brings innovation, diverse perspectives, and enhanced creativity to the table. At its worst, when biases and prejudices obstruct communication and collaboration, the different generations can clash in the workplace. As an employer, you should know how to effectively manage the five generations in your organization so you don’t ever have to face this problem. Let us show you how.
Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In recent years, policies and programs based on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) have skyrocketed to the top of management priorities. However, it may surprise you that in addition to race, gender, religion, and ethnicity, these principles also apply to different generations.
It’s very important to consider DE&I when evaluating the generations present in your workforce. For one, older generations have invaluable experience while younger generations have fresh insights. This means that diversity in age brings a wealth of perspectives to the table. Working together in a cohesive and inclusive environment, the possibilities for fruitful collaboration are enormous
Note that a multigenerational workforce needs a strong and supportive work environment to flourish. Employees should be encouraged to be open-minded and not to assume any negative stereotypes about the generations they are working with. This mutual respect is key in creating a positive generational work culture.
Mix Teams Up When You Can
Having different teams and team members work together will give your employees more chances to get to know one another and collaborate in new ways. It’s not uncommon to have departments divided by generation. For example, your marketing team could be primarily Generation Z while your accounting department is primarily Baby Boomers. By mixing up your teams, you are providing chances for everyone in your workforce to overcome stereotypes and to work together to create new ideas that will potentially better the company.
Build Teams for Age Diversity
If you are unable to mix your teams up on a regular basis, consider building your individual teams for age diversity. Even if your departments are still dominated by one generation, it is incredibly valuable to have an alternative perspective working in their midst. This is also an effective way to reduce communication barriers because employees have a like-minded point of contact within every department.
Diverse relationships are proven to boost productivity. In addition to setting your teams up so that your multigenerational workforce works collaboratively, you should also consider putting a mentorship program in place. This will further encourage engagement and collaboration between generations.
Mentorship is a unique relationship that typically exists between a member from an older generation and a member from a younger one. When the innovation and enthusiasm of the younger generation is backed by the experience of the older one, a dynamic and productive relationship emerges.
Include opportunities for both mentorship and reverse mentorship. Reverse mentorship is when the younger generation mentors the older one. It is a great way to give your older employees some fresh insights and new ideas.
Pay Attention to Needs
Each generation has different priorities dictating their vocational needs. Generation Z and Millennials, for example, prioritize student loan repayment support; a flexible work environment; unlimited paid time off; HSA, FSA, and lifestyle benefits; workplace perks; a relaxed dress code; financial education; and professional development opportunities.
Older generations like the Baby Boomers and Generation X have different priorities. These generations value benefits like extensive healthcare coverage, a flexible schedule, on-site daycare, and retirement planning. Baby Boomers and Generation X also appreciate monetary gifts, stock options, gift cards, and mortgage services.
Consider performing a survey to better understand the needs of your unique workforce. Every employee is different, and your team may prioritize some benefits more than others.
Enhance Your Employee Benefits with JGS
Once you understand the needs of your multigenerational workforce, you should respond to them. You can respond to the needs of your employees with a tailored benefits plan designed to meet the needs of every generation. By doing this, you are not only helping to retain your current employees but you’re also improving your chances of attracting high-quality new talent to your organization.
Learn more about our Employee Benefits group and how they can help your business.