We are currently at an interesting point in history, one where ﬁve generations of employees are working side by side. With people living and working longer, companies are being challenged to manage the different needs and expectations of this complex and diverse employee mix. A workforce made up of everyone from recent college graduates to experienced employees working past the typical retirement age presents a unique challenge for managers who understand how work styles and perspectives can vary by generation. Savvy organizations will look for workforce solutions that allow them to manage the strengths, weaknesses, needs, and perso -nalities of all employees, no matter which generation they are a part of, to elicit the best performance and results.
How the Generations Differ
While it’s important to remember that each employee is unique — with his or her own goals, motivations, and attitudes — generational labels can be useful tools for characterizing workers and creating strategies to manage a multigenerational workforce. The evolution of the Baby Boomers’ “live to work” philosophy gave way to Generation X and their “work to live” outlook, which is now being replaced by the Millennials’ “work my way” viewpoint and Generation Z’s desire to “make a difference.” These different attitudes make it critically important that organizations develop and support a dynamic workforce management style that allows managers to easily adapt to the needs of their employees while also meeting the needs of the business.
Workforce solutions can help you meet the challenges of managing multiple generations by providing analytical insights into the evolving workforce —from optimizing communication by leveraging mobile technology to offering ﬂexible working hours for work-life balance and managing employee absences for compliance, cost control, and employee well-being. By gaining analytical insights into the evolving workforce, human capital management solutions can help you meet the challenges of managing multiple generations.
It Starts With Communication
One of the keys to successful management is recognizing that people consume information differently. Knowing how to communicate effectively with employees is a valuable management tool and becomes even more critical with a multigenerational workforce. As technology in the workplace has changed, so have communication styles and expectations. Everything from the methods and timelines to the devices we use in the workplace is perceived differently by each generation.
For Millennials, technology is king, with 65 percent saying that losing their phone or computer would make daily life tougher than losing their car .With this group, text and instant messages are more popular than email. Their younger brothers and sisters of Generation Z like to communicate with images and can multitask across multiple screens. By contrast, Generation X and Baby Boomers are generally more used to email and phone communications, with texting gaining in popularity in recent years.
Having a variety of different options for communication in the workplace is important, allowing managers to communicate with each generation in the way that best meets their needs. Email, text messages, on-screen alerts, voice mail, and even face-to-face communication should all play a role in keeping employees updated on important company information. as well as receiving notiﬁcations around work schedules, time-off requests, pay history, and hours worked.