The Intergenerational Challenge

Five generations work side by side in today’s workforce, making it important to create an inclusive culture that meets the varying needs of each age group.

The onboarding process needs to start before staff join and should be focused on what matters to these generations (mission & values, career & personal development) as well as designed for how they consume information.

By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce so ensuring your company’s onboarding process builds loyalty and engagement even before day one is crucial.

According to Mary Collins, 79% of CEOs report the multi-generational workplace is a “significant issue” for their organizations. “The issues tend to be clustered in three areas: leadership, learning and communication. Three practical strategies for tackling the intergenerational challenge is firstly, build your generational IQ; do you know the generational profile within your organization and build awareness around different generational cohorts. Second, foster emotionally intelligent leaders and strategy three, reverse mentoring is an excellent way to leverage the strengths of the generations.”

Traditional mentoring normally involves a seasoned exec showing the ropes to a younger and often less experienced colleague. Reverse mentoring is the complete opposite: digital natives, new to the world of work, with completely different social behaviors and backgrounds are coaching senior leaders on what the workplace should look like, what drives younger talent, and how to move forward. Provide new hires with a mentor who passes along institutional knowledge, offers on-the-spot feedback, and willingly accepts reverse mentorship. “One of the best ways to accelerate onboarding and learning is to pair new people up with existing employees to work on new projects together. This promotes bonding, collaboration and integration as well. Millennial especially want to make an impact straights away”, explains Collins. “Generation Z will spearhead the workforce in 2018, so employers should stay one step ahead of the changes they’ll bring. Think five star, think concierge service, think personalized. Forget generic emails, they want the human touch”.

Key Takeaways
from “Redesigning the workforce for Millennial and Generation Z”

▪ Company culture trumps salary & perks and must allow for the flexibility and mobility Millennials and Gen Z demand.

▪ Organizations are often slow in understanding the importance of the front line managers in retention. Ensure you train, develop & coach them for success.

▪ Set clear expectations for performance and ensure there is constant two way feedback. Millennials must feel valued and listened to within the workplace.

▪ Provide career progression through career paths, mentoring, coaching and development opportunities.

▪ With the average tenure of 2 years, it's essential that organizations have a retention strategy. Gathering insights into why employees are leaving so you can improve those aspects of the organization, retain your employees and reduce the high cost of turnover.

▪ The importance of including Boomerang employees to an organization's Talent Management Strategy.