The Generational Gap or Generational Diversity is an ever present and growing issue in organizations today. The complex question is how do we deal with it and what can we do to lessen the gap?
Today, unlike generations before, many times we see four different generations within one workforce. We can see everything from the 20-something Millennials and Generation X’ers to Baby Boomers and Seasoned Veterans working side-by-side. Each generation brings specific skill sets and expectations to their employers. While the Millenials and Generation X’ers tend to be more technologically savvy and quickly adaptable to change, the Baby Boomers and Seasoned Veterans are more patient and want to see a project or assignment through until the very end. All groups bring invaluable assets to any workforce; the key to attracting and retaining that talent is threefold. A successful organization will have targeted recruitment strategies, effective training programs, and employee engagement programs that promote inclusion and sustainability.
The Targeted Recruitment Strategies should be designed to identify within each group the ideals that are most important to them. For the Millenials, this may be access to Wi-Fi and social networks during breaks and lunch periods or a serene place to regroup and socialize with coworkers. Baby Boomers may be geared towards companies that provide a good work/life balance, as they are nearing retirement age or returning to the work force and not feeling the need of the long hours and stress induced jobs of their years past. By targeting recruitment strategies to fit the needs of these generations, companies can feed the passions of all groups to create a diverse workforce that strengthens their core talent base.
Effective Training Programs will be the follow up to the effective recruitment strategy. Each group learns and is influenced by different factors. The Defense Center of Excellence provides a great tool that breaks down each generation and the factors that motivate them in learning and in their career path. Ensuring that learning plans are able to incorporate values, preferences for delivery methods and feedback, and motivation for learning; an organization will set a path for improved retention and employee satisfaction within any organization.
For an organization to sustain itself as a generationally diverse and inclusive group as well as sustain its value in the marketplace for not only its employees, but also its stakeholders an organization must develop an effective employee engagement program. “The challenge today is not just retaining people, but fully engaging them, capturing their minds and hearts at each stage of their work life”, an excerpt from Executive Excellence really captures the ultimate challenge of today. Creating an Employee Engagement plan that promotes retention of talent, fosters customer loyalty, improves organizational performance and increases stakeholder value is a key business driver for ultimate organizational success. Studies have shown that by having an effective employee engagement program, the greatest impact an organization will see is a positive trend on its bottom line.
The concepts are simple; recruit diverse talent, train them properly, and empower them through an effective employee engagement program. The implementation may not be as simple or easy to accomplish but the results of higher employee retention, improved productivity, and an increase in profits are well worth the investment.
This article was written by Jennie Vancel. Jennie is a Recruiter with Yoh RPO division and comes with a very diverse background including Human Resources, Sales, Training and ultimately, Recruiting. With over 15 years of experience across varying industries, she has been instrumental in piloting and implementing global strategies for process improvement, candidate experience, and retention. Specialties include building customer relationships, strategic planning and superior service delivery. Jennie currently resides in Louisiana and outside of work is an avid animal rescuer with four furry family members of her own.