The workplace today is more diverse than it has ever been with five generations potentially working together under one roof. From those born before 1945 through to Generation Z (those born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s), the scale of a multi-generational workforce is huge – as is its potential. Recruiting from across the generations has a number of challenges but there are also a lot of advantages to ensuring that your company is staffed by a multi-generational team.
The opportunity for everyone to learn
It’s the shared learning across generations that potentially provides the most benefit to any business with a more diverse workforce. Not only will people be able to learn from one another but there will also be the opportunity to see different perspectives, which can be incredibly valuable, especially for younger workers.
Avoiding closed-minded thinking
In workplaces where there is less generational diversity it’s easy for viewpoints and perspectives to become rigid. If everyone approaches issues and obstacles in the same way then it may be difficult to find new solutions and workarounds and creativity could suffer. Where there are multiple generations working within one company, the diversity of experiences and outlooks can help to create a much more dynamic and effective approach.
Leveraging the unique strengths of each generation
Different generations have something to offer the workplace that others don’t. Each one has a very unique set of strengths that can be combined to drive the business forward into new areas of growth and development. Putting in place a structure that recognises these different talents and skill sets and looks to optimise them, instead of focusing on a single set of strengths, can achieve impressive results.
Tolerance and respect
Workplaces can become difficult where employees are all drawn from the same generation, as a lack of diversity often leads to issues with tolerance and respect. A multigenerational workplace introduces new perspectives and ideas and gives employees the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, other generations that they may otherwise have very little contact with. The result is that people tend to be more open, more tolerant of those who are not like them and the business can operate in a culture of shared respect and be better prepared for change.
Mentoring and reverse mentoring
Millennials and younger employees are often viewed as the most valued, frequently because they are digital natives. However, older generations who may not have the same tech savvy might be able to offer more in other areas, such as business intuition and negotiation. Mentoring and reverse mentoring programmes provide opportunities for companies to merge these different generations and give each one the opportunity to help support and develop the other. The end result is that all generations become better as a result.
These are just some of the ways in which a multi-generational workforce is a huge benefit to any business. From the breadth of creativity this can create to the opportunity to foster a more tolerant and respectful culture, generational diversity is an investment worth making.
If you’re looking for guidance with your recruitment process then get in touch with 2i Recruit’s experienced team today.