According to (Outten, 2012), multi-generational workforce refers to handling the four generations of employees venturing the workforce. Each group is distinctively individual whereby managers and employees have to comprehend the great ideas, ingenuity, and invention in all shapes, sizes, and ages (Outten, 2012). Some of the multi-generational workforce examples include the Pre-Boomers (1925-1944) also referred to as the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers (1945-1965), Generation X (1966-1975) and Millenials (1977-1995). When managing or owning a business that recruits workforce, much time is spent to find out how the group of individual will work in coordination, and this can be detrimental unless the manager knows how to motivate each group (Outten, 2012). The most challenging aspect of managing multiple generations in a workplace is trying to get each group to respect and appreciate the exceptional talents of each other.
It is essential that the executives and staffs understand that great notions, ingenuity, and innovation depends on shapes, sizes, and ages. The managers should have greater respect across generations to recognize that everyone comes to the workplace with a set of talents and contributions.
The four multigenerational workforces all come to the work environment with a specific set of values, assertiveness, and actions. Moreover their expectations, priorities, tactics, and modes of communication (Outten, 2012). When this multi-generational workforce is managed appropriately, businesses will realize their competitive edge by using the talents and skills of each generation to get the best performance from each group. The reason is that each group is unique and diverse from each other and they have different hiring processes, training and development methods and also managing and retention of employees in a work environment.
Fig 1: The Four Multigenerational Workforce
There are benefits of creating a multigenerational workforce in the work environment.
- This will help each generation to know each other and work collaboratively. It also provides forth training on each generational style and features.
- It will help to develop concise goals and expectations from each group in the work environment
- Develop effective multigenerational teams through ascertaining individual skills in the group.
- Create feedback mechanisms n these groups to ensure behaviors and performance are closely monitored to highlight the success and challenges they might encounter in their workplace.
Each member should be held accountable for individual actions happening or derailing the progress of the groups in achieving its objectives.
For example of a company works with recent graduates alongside a 60 year old colleague on a similar project, automatically the two set of work colleagues will have different views, goals, and expectation in the workplace and if the company wants to incorporate automation in some of its operations they will be compelled to retrench the old employees in the workplace to facilitate for advancement in technology (Outten, 2012). A report was conducted, and its findings concluded that the elderly or veterans favor traditional methods of recruiting and training employees unlike the millennials and Generation X who prefer computer based training. (Outten, 2012).The other challenge that may affect multigenerational groups is how managers will address the possibility of negative prejudice where older workers may think of younger staff as too eager for success.
There are two ways work environment are suitable for old workers, and they include.
- If the environment requires an organizer, the work environment will attract older workers since they have experience in managing the activities of a business.
- The other instance is if the work environment requires researchers and thinkers this will suit mainly older workers like the professors, experienced lawyer, and doctors who have experience in researching data in the work environment.
However there are some difficulties which older workers could face, and one of them might be contributed by advancement in technology particularly in artistic work environments, as such environment might require creative, innovative, idealistic, and computer guru and this might be difficult to incorporate the older generation.
The other instance that would deter the presence of older workers in the work environment is if the business requires a marketer or persuader of products to the final consumer this will suit more young and energetic personnel's.
Some of the strategies that managers can use when trying to motivate and engage the older workers in an organization.
- The manager should also communicate with the older workers in the organization, and they should not assume they know everything more to this the tone of communication should be more accommodating, and different from how he or she will talk to younger workers.
- The manager should value their experience and allow them t contribute in some of the critical decision-making committees in the organization.
- The manager should train them some of the advancements in their areas of expertise to ensure they remain productive in the work environment.
- The managers should ensure they use them as mentors to train the younger colleagues in the organization this will help the organization save up on the training and development expenses.
- The manager should also motivate the older workers through be given incentives and good salary packages for the contribution they have made in the organization.
Figure 2: Demographic representation of the rate of production versus the age of workers in an IT organization
From the graph, we can conclude that the price of output dwindles according to the generation of workers in the organization in the above case the work environment is creative and will need recent graduates with relevant an up to date skills to be able to make an active contribution in the company. This attributes the decreasing rate of production as the age of workers advances.
Outten, M. K. (2012). From veterans to nexters: Managing a multigenerational nursing workforce. Nursing management, 43(4), 42-47.
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