A firm which holds the core value of inclusiveness will be blessed with people of a different race, language, heritage, gender identities and age. Over the years, it has found, the age gap in the firms has contributed to cultural and technological divisions. But how many of you really know that your firm can benefit a lot from hiring both the young and the old? Let’s have a look at the age of the present workforce in general and to which category they fall under.
Silents (the mid-60s and up)
Baby Boomers (mid-40s to mid-60s)
Generation X-ers (the mid-30s to mid-40s)
Millennials (the youngest workers in their 20s)
Contrary to other countries, Indian firms are encouraging a younger workforce culture. This trend should change as studies have found that hiring the aged benefits younger ones with higher wages and employment rates. Similarly the aged learns new things from the younger workforce.
For them to happily co-exist, the HR leaders should be flexible enough to deal with all generations. Firstly, an HR leader should be able to use generational motivations in the workplace. The younger set of employees work generally to make money to meet their living expenditures. They tend to stick onto firms which will provide them with the opportunities to grow skills.
On the other hand, older workers earn money to ease into retirement. For them, the money they earn is an investment and security for their future days. This is the basic difference between the old and the younger workforce. There are many things they need in common like,
Good work relationships
Autonomy in job
Work from home facilities
Recognition and rewards
Hence these are the areas where they want general motivations from their leaders. Reports have shown that a mixed-age workforce performs well as a team than a single generational one. If so what are the qualities a younger workforce can learn from the older workforce?
1. Giving insights
Besides the motivation from HR leaders, the younger workers get valuable insights from their older workforce. Personal anecdotes of the older can help the younger to face challenges in their career.
2. Navigate politics
Employees in older age have more experience dealing with the rumours, arguments, backbiting, favouritism and other office politics. When they share it with their younger set, it will help them to think and work form what they have been told.
3. Using conflicts
No workplace is devoid of conflict. The older employees have more wisdom in using conflict to solve problems. The younger employees can make the best use of conflict to find new opinions and challenge the existing structures.
How can the younger help the old?
1. Use of technology
It is obvious that the older generation lacks technological knowledge. The younger employees who are in constant touch with technology can help the old in using devices.
2. Try out new
Older people are a little resistant to change whereas the younger value learning new skills that can advance their careers. The younger employees can help older workers comprehend why change is inevitable and adapt to them.
3. Appreciate diversity
With varied communications styles and focus on inclusiveness, Millennials and Generation X-ers are said to be the most diverse workforce in history. They comprise of wide-ranging backgrounds and perspectives which can help the older workforce shape their thoughts too in a positive manner.
Aforesaid are some of the advantages of mixing all age groups into your workforce. There can be differences in how they work but when closely observed, one will find more similarities. Eliminating unwanted competition and biases is the best way in which a leader can motivate the multi-generational workforce.