Younger and Older Warehouse Employees Smiling

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Having four or more generations working side by side is the new normal in the workplace. As a result, companies must prioritize multi-generational workforce management strategies to leverage the dynamics of multi-generational workforces to bring out the best in their employees.

These strategies will act as the glue that binds the various values, skills, and perspectives each generation brings with them. Ideally, as a collective, all the different attitudes and approaches to the world of work should work in harmony to.

A Deloitte Global Human Capital study reported that 70 percent of leaders say that leading a multi-generational workforce significantly benefits their organizations’ success. However, only 10 percent admit to being ready to embrace multi-generational workforce strategies.

If managing a multi-generational workforce contributes to business success, then so does the role of good talent management principles. It goes without saying that attracting and retaining a highly-skilled workforce is critical to an organization’s growth as it drives positive business results.

Understanding the benefits and challenges of a multi-generational workforce

A workforce involving different generations working together creates a diverse and well-rounded labor pool. Generational diversity can offer a competitive edge by allowing employees to learn from each other and the different perspectives of the various age groups. This collaborative process is a two-way street whereby young and old can learn new ideas from the other.

The challenges of having a multi-generational workforce can make managing generational diversity in the workplace difficult. If not managed effectively, the generational difference can be a major cause of employee conflict. Frustrations among employees can disrupt teamwork and negatively impact employee motivation and performance.

Poor communication is another common age diversity issue that can negatively impact productivity. Younger generations of employees like millennials favor regular feedback and feel valued when their opinions are heard. They can easily feel overshadowed and underappreciated by older employees due to their experience and seniority.

Management styles are another big challenge organizations have to handle to ensure employees perform to the best of their abilities. Employees of different generations respond to different management styles to perform at their best level. While Generation X-ers appreciate leadership styles incorporating fairness, competence, and openness. Millennials work best with a leadership style that features solid people skills.

Communication preferences in age diversity may also cause a challenge. Digital innovations may make communication and collaboration easier, but not every generation is excited about utilizing exciting technologies. Being less tech-savvy than their younger counterparts, older employees may struggle to adapt to technologies they are unfamiliar with.

Despite the challenges a multi-generational workforce presents, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate age diversity in the workplace. Some of these include:

  • Better decision-making and problem-solving

Bringing each generation’s perspectives and values together helps to broaden the cognitive diversity contributed by mixed-age work teams. This allows for an improved input of experiential knowledge that enhances an organization’s decision-making abilities.

  • Produces next-level innovation

By valuing each age group’s feedback, unique skillset, talents, and competencies, an organization may find its innovation level has risen to new heights.

  • Knowledge sharing

Another advantage to mixed-age teams is the opportunities for knowledge sharing. In sharing their views and ideas, this knowledge base can be an asset to building a solid workforce to align with the company’s goals and vision.

What is talent management, and why is it important?

The backbone of a successful organization is having a highly skilled pool of employees to ensure the organization meets its targets and objectives. Therefore, talent management’s role is to ensure that an organization keeps hold of highly skilled and talented employees.

Talent management demonstrates how a company recruits and manages its employees to remain loyal and continue to offer high performance and productivity, ultimately affecting its overall growth potential.

The benefits of implementing effective talent management strategies include minimizing disruptions to workflow, which can happen when employees leave, and their positions need to be filled as soon as possible.

Reduced costs are another major consideration. The related costs of recruiting and training new employees can be a significant expense which is why talent retention should be a top priority.

Key elements of talent management

The talent management process is not a singular event but involves various elements that ensure staff is empowered and engaged. Key elements cover:

  • Personnel Planning – Identify the desired skillsets that will deliver an organization’s targeted goals and objectives.
  • Recruitment – Knowing where to source the right talent, initial screening, and interviewing candidates.
  • Orientation – An onboarding program that introduces new hires to the company’s culture and encourages their sense of togetherness in their work environment.
  • Professional Training and Development – Employers provide earning opportunities to promote career growth.
  • Reviews – Conducting reviews and evaluations to support employees working to their strengths and identifying opportunities to improve on weaknesses.
  • Employee Benefits – What’s in it for them? Consider perks and benefits offered to employees in addition to wages.

Effective talent management strategies

The best talent management strategy should achieve two objectives: to align to company goals and manage outcomes. Companies can achieve this by:

  • Provide growth opportunities and support for career advancement.
  • Make hiring diverse talent a priority.
  • Offer fair compensation specific to job industry and location.
  • Establish a positive workplace culture.
  • Match employees to the right roles and assignments that fit their strengths.

Final thoughts

As much as acquiring employees with the right skills, knowledge and experience is a top priority; it is equally important to retain such valuable employees. That is why talent management is so critical.

One way to secure a diverse workforce that offers a wide range of skills, perceptions, and values is to create a multi-generational workforce. The diversity of mixed-age teams working well together drives productivity and business growth.

HW Staffing Solutions is here to help you! Get in touch with our service-driven team and contact us today.