Within certain industries, such as tech, many appear to recruit a young and vibrant base of professionals. However, focusing only on individuals in their 20s and 30s is not cultivating a full spectrum of talent. With a multi-generation workforce, you can harness ability and knowledge from all generations.
The Importance of the Remote Workforce During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 crisis, many are choosing to work remotely so younger workers are often burdened with children at home while still trying to juggle their careers. Seasoned workers who
have raised their families are helping to fill the void in ways never dreamed so that companies can continue to function like a well- oiled machine safely from their homes as the global pandemic rages on.
What is a Multigeneration Workforce?
Many companies have found that employing and managing workers from varying generations challenging. Experienced workers often have a difficult time relenting to those who are younger because they feel their knowledge base is far greater and their skills more enhanced. Whereas, those who are younger often believe that they are bringing fresh, modern views to the table.
However, managing a multigeneration workforce remotely appears to alleviate such problems to a certain extent and fosters camaraderie, especially during a crisis.
Understanding the Various Generations
Each generation has its obstacles with communication and engagement. Below is a generation breakdown commonly encountered within the workforce:
The Greatest Generation 1901 and 1927
It is true, you will not encounter many from this generation in the workforce, but it does happen. Look at the great actress Betty White who is still going strong at 98 years old. Clearly, she has a great deal to offer to younger actors. In general, it will be rare to work with anyone in this age group, but their experience and knowledge of the world cannot be overlooked.
Baby Boomers 1945 to 1964
A recent Gallup poll found that about a third of the workforce is made up of Baby Boomers. Many no longer want to retire at 65 but wish to continue working. Many say that they never plan on retiring.
Interestingly, Baby Boomers are very loyal, and most have remained on the job for at least 15 years or longer. They tend to also be very motivated to keep up with the competition of the younger generations. Without a doubt, they bring a strong work ethic and expansive skills to any position.
Generation X 1965 to 1979
GenerationXmembershaveriseninthe workforcetotake their placealongside BabyBoomers.Sadly, theyareoftenoverlooked.A recentstudybytheHarvard Business Review found that Generation X is often overlooked for promotions and in many instances, the promotion rate is from 20 to 30 percent lower than Millennials. Sadly, the lack of acknowledgment is one of the reasons why so many opt to quit and move on to another company. Gen Xer’s are highly intelligent, self-reliant, and tend to stay with a company for around five years.
Millennials 1981 and 1996
Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. They tend to be exceptionally tech-savvy, ambitious, and highly educated.
Many have been in their current workplace for two years or more. Some might argue that Millennials have become the backbone of the business world.
Generation Z 1996 to 2010
This group follows hard on the heels of millennials. They tend to be noticeably young but project a great deal of enthusiasm. Fresh out of college, most are willing to work long hours to prove themselves in the competitive market. Many are serving internships or even working for little-to-no-pay in order gain the experience they need to compete in the cutting-edge business world.
Multi-generations Working Together
Bringing together individuals with different backgrounds, cultures, and styles is not without challenges. The Allegis Group reports the following statistics on managing a multigenerational workforce reported by HR decisions makers:
38 percent reported differences in communication styles
36 percent experienced problems with expectations about the flexibility of working remotely
35 percent faced problems with maintaining a stable status quo
28 percent had issues with management styles
26 percent dealt with issues about the expectations of speedy promotions
19 percent experienced negative generational issues such as stereotypes
18 percent had culture clashes
It would appear that those who are college graduates and over the age of 50 prefer to set their own work hours and remain very
consistent, according to a RAND Corporation study. The older generation remains very committed to the workforce and appears to obtain a great deal of satisfaction from their position.
In a Forbes report, they found that 17 percent of Millennials need flexible schedules and that such a consideration is a major factor in choosing an employer. Interestingly, when working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, many Millennials and Generation Xer’s require extra flexibility because they are faced with juggling children at home and doubling as their little one’s schoolteacher while still producing work for their busy career. Such a factor is not faced by those who are older and often face no interruptions during their at-home workday.
Baby Boomers enjoy working remotely and setting their own schedules as they coast into retirement, but they can remain extremely focused on the task-at-hand. Generation Xer’s and Millennials must raise a family while achieving a work/homelife balance. As large numbers of people shelter-in-place around the world, many have had to taper their work hours down to part- time to find the ideal balance.
Benefits of Improved Flexibility from Working Remotely
Improved flexibility for all generations in the workplace appears to promote better engagement. One company, Centrica, offers paid return-ships to seniors who are reentering the workforce after taking two or more years off. They provide a 12-week paid returnship where they give mentoring and coaching. GTB is another company providing 10-week paid internships for
individuals who have been out of work for several years. These perks are geared towards bringing in skilled workers while offering them the tools that they need to jumpstart their careers.
Success During COVID-19 and Beyond
Running a multi-generation workforce is not without its challenges. However, one of the greatest assets during COVID-19 and beyond is ensuring that the company always adopts the best technology practices that include remote working, flexible scheduling, virtual meetings to keep their competitive edge and remain successful. All generations working together exhibit the best technical expertise in the digital environment. One thing to recognize is that those who are baby boomers, might not have a firm grasp on technology so turning to the tech-savvy Millennials and Generation Xers and Generation Z’s to pass on their skills is an ideal solution so everyone in the business benefits and grows.
Everyone in the workforce can find value in modern resources that simplify tasks and make the day-to-day process easier and more fulfilling.
Localized Information: Maintaining a central location for all information on mobile devices and desktops frees up time by making searches and phone calls easier.
Help Desk Resource: A help desk resource is another perk.
Online Collaboration: Online collaboration during this difficult time in the world remains extremely valuable at forming firm unions between employees while providing sufficient resources for everyone involved.
Boundaries: Organizational boundaries are completely lifted so every0one can focus on their necessary tasks.
Learning how to engage multi-generations remotely is becoming the new ‘norm’ and is crucial for modern success. Undoubtedly, any company can create a tapestry of many generations to pair their strengths and bolster the company to amazing heights.
Do you need to help with managing and leading a multi- generational workforce remotely?
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