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Managing a multi-generational workforce
With the care sector attracting a diverse and multi-generational workforce, managers need to know how to create an environment that works for everyone. Nikita Passi, Solicitor at Napthens explains.
The workforce is becoming increasingly diverse as many individuals are now working beyond the age of 70 and school leavers are entering the workforce. This means that many employers are facing a new challenge of managing a multigenerational workforce.
The generations that may come across each other in the workplace are commonly broadly categorised as follows:
- Silent Generation/Traditionalist (born between 1928 – 1945)
- Baby Boomers (born between 1946 – 1964)
- Generation X (born between 1965 – 1980)
- Millennials (born between 1981 – 1996)
- Generation Z (born between 1997 – 2012)
There are many differences between generations. It is commonly thought that millennials, for example, may prefer to send instant messages, emails or text messages rather than have a telephone conversation with an individual, whereas baby boomers may prefer face to face conversations with others. As such, employers need to ensure that they are creating working environments that cater for and can accommodate all generations.
How can businesses integrate different generations?
It can, however, be difficult for organisations to integrate the generations together to allow them to work collaboratively. Some ways in which organisations can facilitate communication between the generations are:
- Ensuring that there are opportunities for people to get to know each other and to ensure everyone has ways to interact with one another
- Be inclusive, by creating cross generational teams
- Allow everyone to participate and share ideas. If there is a meeting, it may be that some individuals may be quieter in the group. Therefore, after the meeting it may be that you follow up separately with these individuals or ask them to share any comments or feedback via email or in another form of communication
Having a multigenerational workforce can provide many benefits for employers, such as bringing a range of experiences and creativity into the workplace. Further, the employer can benefit by encouraging older generations to mentor the younger generations to help train and develop the more junior members of the team. This can be done by introducing mentoring or coaching programmes.
In addition to this, it is important that organisations are creating equal opportunities for all staff and ensuring that their workplace is diverse and accepting of those with varying personalities, educational backgrounds, skill sets and experiences to foster an inclusive work environment.
If you have any questions in relation to managing a multigenerational workforce, then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Napthens’ Employment team or use the enquires form on your QCS dashboard to book a free 30 minute call back.
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