As the millennial generation becomes a much larger part of the global workforce alongside their colleagues of generation x and baby boomers, employers need to consider how they will keep their multiple-generational workplace engaged.
Organisations need to think about their sub-strategies for the different generations and the intergenerational work environment. All individuals have different behaviours and managers should not get confused between a characteristic trait and a generational trait.
One main generational trait that is a fundamental difference to how these generations behave and communicate is due to the advancement of technology. Additionally, different generations have different learning styles, while baby boomers have grown up with text-book reading and newspapers, millennials gather knowledge by browsing information on their hand-held devices. Managers should be understanding of this and accommodate the needs of different generations and embrace this collaborative, intergenerational workplace. Here are three considerations when trying to improve sub-strategies for your employees.
An Equal Voice
Employees of all ages should be given the opportunity to have a say on how their career plays out and on organisational changes that impact them. Management teams should listen to all their employees regularly, facilitate engaging discussions and should encourage intergenerational interaction. With the technological tools and communication platforms we have available to us today, managers have the opportunity to understand all of their employee's opinions and ideas in one stored, secure place. Workplace communications can be more inclusive than ever before, regardless of location.
Learning and Development
Employees like to know they are being treated fairly, know their opinions matter and know that there are equal opportunities for them to develop and grow their skills. By providing regular opportunities for training, development and individual advice this will make employees feel appreciated and motivate them to put their 'training' and 'learning' in to practice.
An engaging environment
Managers should be receptive to an employee's individual needs and enable more inclusive, open communication channels to engage with their employees. In the modern workplace, we have the technological tools to embrace this inclusive, collaborative approach between the multiple-generational workforce. This technology breaks down the barriers and helps prevent your workforce from being disengaged, feeling unappreciated and repressive of one's opinion.
Instead, you will be able to understand your employees concerns, ideas and solutions to real-life problems which can all be stored and discussed on this communication channel. This can be moderated, analysed and used to help make informed decisions that can improve your organisation and work environment for the better.
Read our other blog on how 'instant technology is impacting the workplace'.