Generational differences at workplaces are the reality today. As a result, businesses worldwide are working towards finding inclusive growth involving all the available generations.
According to a recently published article in Forbes, there has been a significant rise of people in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s at the workplace.
Therefore, we are experiencing four to five generations in the workplace simultaneously.
Generation gap problems in the workplace include diversity, different opinions based on experience, and professional degrees. In addition, HR managers opine that they have experienced frequent ego clashes, boardroom scuffles, etc.
If managed with a strategy, multiple generations can be an excellent resource for the company, and these challenges will be advantages for the business growth.
Let us begin with defining the generation gap. After that, we will describe five generations and ways to manage them like a professional.
What are the Generational Gap in the workplace and ways to manage diversity?
Age gap, experience, personal nature affects the behavior of one generation towards another. The difference also lies at the people level and the generation. They carry their unique personality, worldviews, perspectives, and capacity to manage things around them.
So, what should be way ahead to tackle multi-generational workforce challenges?
To find this way, we can refer here to a couple of quotes from a panel discussion on HR’s recipe to nurture the multi-generational workforce. The participants were: Anil Jalali, CHRO, Capgemini, Rohit Sanda, HR Director, Lenovo India, and Mona Cheriyan, President & Grup Head-HR, Thomas Cook.
According to Mona Cheriyan, Organizations need to understand that one size does not fit all anymore. Instead, we need to do something different for each generation to make them comfortable at the workplace.
According to Rohit Sanda:
HR needs to plan policies, work culture, and environment that appeal across generations.
In the next section, we will discuss five individual generations, their aspirations, pain points, and how organizations should restructure their policies to evolve an inclusive workplace while working with different organizations in the workplace.
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5 Generations in the workplace
Generation Z was born between 1997 and 2012. These tech-savvy, always-online people consider smartphones, social media, and the internet as the essential requirements for work.
Companies need to build and promote their online presence to attract Generation Z.
Gen Z employees want a collaborative and challenging workplace. Significant challenges of this generation are lack of experience, training, student loans, etc.
Millennials are the majority of the entire workforce globally. People born between 1981 and 1996 come under this generation category. They have seen the pre-digital era and living in Digital integration in every sphere of life and work. So, they are comfortable with black & white phones and smartphones alike, making them the most suitable for junior to senior positions at the workplace.
Millennials want to be judged by their performance and quality of work, not hours at the desk. They stay highly active on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, and if companies want to target them, these sites are an apt location to find suitable job-specific millennials. Research says millennials desire diverse career opportunities and perks such as performance bonuses, career upskilling programs, health care, mortgage benefits, etc.
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Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980 after the baby boomers and before Millennials. The highlight of Gen X is the evolution of the PC (Personal Computers). These people are more educated compared to previous generations and hardworking. Companies can hire them through online screening and personal face-to-face interviews.
Companies should give them more liberty and less supervision. They want their own space and flexibility. Give them scope to balance personal and professional life. Gen X is an experienced and skilled generation.
Their job roles should suit their work experience and skill-set. This generation expects all the legally allowed perks, bonuses, MICE, etc.
Baby boomers and Silent generations are older generations at the workplace. People born after World War II up to 1964 are considered baby boomers. This generation of people is hardworking and belongs to the pre-tech era.
They are comfortable in face-to-face interviews. In addition, they can use emails and the internet for official communication and work.
These people are highly experienced and knowledgeable that businesses can utilize for strategies and troubleshooting.
They expect a stable job with standard perks and a solid package. Age is another vital consideration, and companies should offer attractive health plans and retirement benefits to lure and retain the right talent.
Silent Generation was born between 1928 and 1945. These people have experienced two world wars, recession, and many more financial turmoils.
They expect appreciation for good work done, the value of their experience, and respect at the workplace. Therefore, companies should provide all-inclusive health plans and attractive retirement benefits.
How To Manage 5 Generations in The Modern workplace?
Businesses need to curate a workplace environment to accommodate the individuality of each generation, utilizing their skills, experience, and perspectives.
How to overcome the generation gap in the workplace?
- Incorporate Baby Boomers and Silent Generation into a training program for Gen Z and Gen X
- Motivating different generations in the workplace through recognizing generation-specific skills and utilize for the benefit of other generations
- Demographic-based planning for employee benefits, growth, and their improved productivity for the business growth
Managing multiple generations at the workplace begins with acceptance of changing times, expectations of younger and older generations. Now is the time to strategize an inclusive workplace with scope for learning and growth. Understanding and managing generational differences in the workplace maximize revenue with the right balance of gray hair and young blood.