A multi-generational workforce can be a real asset to a company. Bringing a range of skills, approaches and expertise to a business, hiring staff from different generations can be a great way to ensure you’ve got all the bases covered. However, managing a mutli-generational workforce has its challenges. Finding an approach that resonates with employees of different ages isn’t always easy.

Although every individual is different, commonly accepted identifiers for each generation are as follows;

Baby boomers

Born just after the Second World War, Baby Boomers generally have a strong respect for authority and a good work ethic. The least technically savvy of the generations currently in the workplace, Baby Boomers can struggle to adapt quickly to changing work practices.

When managing Baby Boomers, it’s important to provide adequate training for new technology and to recognise the contribution these experienced employees make to the workplace. A good way to do this is to provide mentoring opportunities to Baby Boomer workers. Pair them with younger colleagues and give them the opportunity to share the wealth of knowledge and experience they’ve built up over the years.

Generation X  

One of the more powerful generations in the workforce, Generation X counts many prominent business leaders among its ranks. Generation X generally demands a little more from their employers than Baby Boomers. Flexible working and family-friendly policies go down well with people from this age group.

A good way to engage Generation X is to offer a performance-based reward system. This allows workers to benefit from their own hard work and gives them concrete goals to aim for.

Millennials

This often-derided generation is one of the most dynamic and interesting in the workforce. Very tech savvy and able to think outside the box, Millennials like to work in companies where they feel valued and where there are clear opportunities for growth.

Like Generation X, Millennials appreciate a good work–life balance, so flexible working and other similar schemes will always go down well. It’s also important to provide Millennials with regular feedback on their efforts and training opportunities wherever possible. This generation likes to be continually learning and evolving, so the more opportunities you can provide, the better.

Generation Z

Although Generation Z currently makes up just 2% of the workforce, they’ll soon be entering the world of work en masse. To prepare for the influx of this digital-savvy generation, make sure your technical approach is up to date and consider implementing financial incentives for hard work.

Summary

Whilst the descriptions are helpful in identifying traits in different generations, they are by no means exact. The key is tailoring your approach to each individual employee by being respectful of influencing generational factors can help you get the most out of all your employees. This can be done by assessing the way you train, motivate and reward your workforce depending on age should see you get the most out of every generation.

These attributes can also be considered when approaching recruitment. Prior thought to individual working practices, role specifics and team dynamics can really enhance successful working within a business.

If you would like our support in appraising these and all other factors that lead to successful recruitment, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.