Embrace diversity | Multigenerational teams; a solution to staff retention?

Multigenerational teams; a solution to staff retention?

The post-Brexit, post-lockdown recruitment and retention experiences of many businesses have been tough.

The highest number of job vacancies in a generation coupled with ‘the great resignation’ and a remote working ‘hangover’ add up to a serious challenge for HR. Simply there just aren’t enough people to go around. More specifically, there aren’t enough of the right people to fill the hundreds of thousands of current vacancies. And when businesses have good people, there’s the issue of hanging on to them. The answer could be in investing in a multi-generational team.

Some workplaces now have four different generations working alongside each other with an age span of up to 50 years. Members of these generations share traits, views and certain characteristics – and sometimes they can be at odds with other generations.

What does this mix of generations mean for workplace teams and how can it help solve the staff retention challenge?

Benefits of multigenerational teams

Everyone learns something when they spend time with people from different backgrounds or cultures. The same happens when different generations and people with different life experiences work together.

Inclusive cultures help build tolerance and greater levels of understanding. Life skills and workplace skills are exchanged and absorbed. Experiences and knowledge are shared – and to varying degrees people become more open-minded and rounded in their outlook. Everyone gains.

Benefits to multigenerational teams include higher productivity levels, better problem-solving, creative thinking and being able to draw on a broader mix of skills. Younger people will probably be more tech savvy and older people may interact more easily with older customers or visitors. Older workers may also have stronger interpersonal skills, and they tend to stay in jobs longer.

Collectively, a multigenerational team has a lot to offer. As with any team though, one of the keys to cohesion is regular, open and honest communication.

Building a healthy talent pipeline

Organisations that embrace age diversity can benefit from a wide range of knowledge and ideas from each generation which will create a distinct advantage in a future-ready workforce. A strong internal talent pipeline will help companies to reduce hiring costs and focus their resources on training courses that will develop the capabilities and skills of employees to create more opportunities for external promotion.

Multigenerational teams are here to stay

Some might find the multigenerational team a challenge, while others will embrace and learn from it. There are more plusses than negatives and ultimately more ‘rounded’ teams or workforces benefit us all, not least to counteract the staff retention problem.

Find out more about how MHR can help your business

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