How to Provide World-class Value Your Multigenerational Workforce

Hedley Lawson | Board Member & Advisor

As we have learned over the years, each age-group has varying needs and expectations. For those who have not continued to develop and modify their approach to workforce expectations with transformational strategies to meet the needs of your teams and your company, here are seven actionable recommendations.

1. Conduct a company-wide generational analysis

In doing so, you will understand the characteristics and preferences of each generation. This analysis can provide insights into the values, priorities, and lifestyles of different individual groups and their specific characteristics, like age, gender, gender preference, ethnicity, work-life balance, career development objectives, and other areas so that you can tailor your cultural attributes to meet the needs of each diverse group.

2. Ensure flexibility in each of your programs

For example, remote work options and flexible hours are highly valued by employees across all demographics. Younger teams often seek work-life balance and greater flexibility. Older team members may appreciate the opportunity to transition into retirement gradually. Providing options will assist attract and retain your valued team members of all ages and enhance overall professional fulfillment and productivity.

3. Provide health and wellness plans

Wellbeing benefits are vital for all team members, but the specific needs vary among age groups. Employees who are earlier in their careers might prefer things like gym memberships or mental health support or Employee Assistance Programs. Their midcareer colleagues often seek robust family plans and financial wellness tools. Late-stage team members may want preventative care, chronic disease management, or access to retirement planning. By doing these things, you will promote overall well-being and team member satisfaction.

4. Develop and implement growth opportunities through Professional Development

Career growth opportunities are very important for all generations. The desired methods and formats differ, however. Younger team members may value mentorship programs, skill-building, clear paths for advancement and virtual learning platforms. Others may value advanced technology training, options for knowledge transfer programs, and opportunity to engage in meaningful projects. Providing a wide range of development initiatives fosters a learning culture that is valued by all of your team members.

5. Offer customized financial planning

Retirement planning is critical for all team members. Those just starting their careers often prefer to focus on their retirement savings while more senior aged team members require assistance and guidance in transition plans and catch-up programs. Offering specific planning resources, financial education programs and personalized preferences supports their preparation for a secure future.

6. Make intergenerational teams a must

Team members just launching their careers can and need to learn from the more experienced wisdom of their colleagues. More seasoned team members can gain fresh perspectives and insights from younger team members through knowledge-sharing and collaboration to improve engagement, innovation, and a sense of unity within the organization.

7. Implement flexible communications methods

Within a multigenerational workforce, finding the right communication methods is essential. Older team members often favor face-to-face, phone conversations and voicemail messages while colleagues in the middle-age range often rely on voicemail messages. Colleagues in the middle-age group often prefer to communicate via texting, instant messaging, and video. 

In our experience advising and consulting to publicly-listed and privately-held companies globally, we have found that accommodating the diverse needs and interests of team members across your organization enhances their engagement, loyalty, productivity and commitment to excellence. And that each of these initiatives should be a company-wide leadership initiative, not simply relegated to Human Resources as another project.

Hedley Lawson
Board Member & Advisor | former Global Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC

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