How to title

How should you go about developing a multigenerational workforce?

 

How to title

 

How should you go about developing a multigenerational workforce?

Amy Smyth
Market Vice President Europe,
Right Management


I have spoken to many HR directors concerned about their manager’s ability to engage multi-generations with their different agendas. Much of the conversation centres on the differences and the challenges with pleasing ‘all of the people all of the time’. What receives less focus are the similarities between the generations and the basic human need to learn and experience variety in everyday lives.

Let’s take two example generations; Millennials and Baby Boomers. 93% of Millennials see ongoing skill development as an important part of their future careers (Millennials Careers: 2020 vision ManpowerGroup). In the same vein, 62% of Baby Boomers, supposedly at the end of their careers, said they were in need of new job skills. Lack of learning opportunities is one of the top areas older workers are dissatisfied about (Sloan Centre).

So, if all generations basically want the same thing, what can organisations do to make it happen?

1. Have great career conversations – Regular career conversation between employees and managers can be the key to unlocking career development opportunities. Ensuring managers have been trained to have effective conversations and have visibility of learning opportunities within the organisation will enable employees to pursue their aspirations, whatever stage they are at in their career.

2. Access to career tools – Technology that provides visibility to career pathing, development tools and internal job openings ensure that all generations have what they need to own their careers and contribute to business success.

3. Make time – The biggest barrier to learning for all generations is lack of time (2019 Workplace Learning Report, LinkedIn). For employees to actively engage in development, they need time to plan and learn. Making sure learning time is ring fenced and prioritised will ensure it takes place.

In a time of talent shortage, organisations need to engage all their employees in skill development, irrespective of their age. Ironically, by applying a consistent approach to development across all generations, you will ensure the differing needs of all employees are met and your business will thrive.

Ian Bird
Partner in Talent and Transformation,
IBM


The talent shortage is one of the greatest threats facing organisations today. In fact, over the next three years, as many as 120million workers in the world's 12 largest economies may need to be retrained or re-skilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation (IBM IBV study). Enabling and retaining a multigenerational workforce requires new insights and agile ways of working. Incorporating AI can make this possible. To close the skill gaps, organisations should focus on personalisation at scale; transparency and looking inside and out by building an ecosystem of partnerships to call on and share the skills and capabilities needed.

Alexandra Thompson
Head of People and Culture,
Harvey Water Softeners


The biggest challenge we’ve faced hasn’t been building a multigenerational workforce, it’s been keeping them. A third of our business is now aged under 35 and most of them work in teams where expectations for career progression tend to be higher. Keeping them engaged and progressing at a pace that suits them and us is now our top focus. We’ve recently introduced a new training scheme called Growing Talent to build value in career development beyond promotions and job titles. Everyone gets the chance for training, not just the managers and the result has been a reduction in leavers among ‘Millennial’ employees.

Chris Lincoln
Head of Learning and Development,
Be At One Cocktail Bars


Learning and development presents a brilliant backbone to introduce structure to any business; with good L&D, employee satisfaction increases, productivity increases and as such, employee retention goes up and people have the tools they need to climb the ladder and build their career inside of the company. Learning has to be accessible. You need to lay a plan out in front of an employee so that they know exactly what they have to do to level-up and to achieve that goal. It’s about setting it out nice and clearly so that they aren’t reaching out for purpose and direction.


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