Improve Your Business by Embracing a Multi-Generational Workforce
By Pat Hall
If there’s one thing the major economic recession taught every business, it’s how to adapt in extreme times of change. Every organization, from the smallest local shop to the multi-national company, had to learn how to do more with less. However, isn’t this really what organizations should be doing all the time? Shouldn’t they always want to consistently improve their businesses no matter what challenges they are facing?
There are countless techniques and pieces of advice that can help a business constantly improve and move forward so it can be as competitive as possible. One of the most effective ways, however, is to always creatively approach your workforce. These are the people, after all, who help sustain your business. Today, more than ever, where knowledge means power, an organization simply can’t afford to ignore such a vital component of their business.
Bloggers tend to talk a lot these days about the multi-generational workforce. And there’s a reason why. People who are watching the modern workplace carefully know that knowledge starts with the ability to hire the right mix of people. And today that “mix” is more diverse than ever, coming from all walks of life and all generations.
To improve the state of your business—and to secure it for the future—you’ve got to understand and embrace the dynamics of the multi-generational workforce.
To do this, businesses must first of all recognize that the workplace today is more diverse than it’s ever been. People from dramatically different generations are in many ways converging for the first time in significant ways, making workplace dynamics more nuanced and complex.
As Baby Boomers start to retire, for example, we also know that they’re living longer. They’re also choosing to stay in the workforce longer, making the number of people 55 and older in the workforce higher than it’s ever been since 1948. This means that the possibility of Baby Boomers working alongside “millennials” in their early 20s or even those in Generation “Z” born after 1990 who have no idea what it’s like to live without the Internet—and who have a drastically different view of the workplace—is also stronger than it’s ever been.
While the multi-generational labor pool presents some challenges, the benefits are real. The key for businesses is to understand and recognize what each generation brings to the table, and how those different viewpoints can add to your core competencies. One suggestion is to offer more flexibility in work schedules such as flex-time or the ability to work remotely. Younger workers in particular are not necessarily looking for traditional 40-hour-a-week jobs. Another consideration is promote on-the job mentoring or job shadowing between older and younger employee generations, or vice versa. These are just a few ways to successfully integrate a multi-generational workforce.
By continually educating yourself on these dynamic changes in the workplace today, and by allowing a multi-generational workforce to contribute its unique perspectives, your business can and will consistently improve.
Pat Hal is a Branch Manager for Kelly Services. Kelly has been meeting the employment needs of area businesses in the Logan area since 1998. For more information on how Kelly can assist your business, contact Pat at 435-752-8816 or visit kellyservices.com.