GM Thought of The Week: The Changing Face of the Workforce

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GM Thought of The Week: The Changing Face of the Workforce

Many companies now have up to 5 generations operating in their work force at any one time. Builders, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z can potentially all be active stakeholders in a business.


But multi-generational teams are not unique to the 21st century and employers have always faced the challenge of finding a management style that accounts for the variety of different personality types, motivators and expectations.


There are many benefits to having this level of diversity across the team.  Each generation will have their own set of experiences and reference points that will impact their behaviours and expectations to help form a well-rounded approach.


Millennials are now the largest generation in the work force.   Many headlines cite the challenge this poses for even the most experienced of managers and leaders to motivate and retain their millennial employees.  With the average millennial holding a position for 2 years, the cost and resource of hiring and training individuals can be significant.  What top tips are there to inspire, motivate and ultimately retain?


1. Establish a clear sense of purpose: despite growing up in a world with a lightning speed pace of change, millennials are still ultimately emotional beings, they are driven by a sense of purpose and sense of belonging.


2. Have a value system: they want to be empowered to make their own decision but provide them with a framework and structure to guide this.  Make sure they are part of the process in creating the values and that this is role modelled from the top.


3. Give feedback: provide feedback that is clear and specific.  Recognise the great work and behaviours that have had a true positive impact with a focus on strength-based culture.  Providing coaching and support to assist with development is a must.


4. Make it about the experience: whilst making money is still of course important it is not the only thing that gets them out of bed.  It is about the day to day experiences.  With work playing such a major role in their lives we have to offer experiences, be it through socials, volunteer work, training, spontaneous day to day activities or all of the above.


5. Look after their well-being: Technological advancements have led to an always on lifestyle, full of physical and emotional pressures.  If you can support your teams physical and emotional well-being they are more likely to be present and perform better at work.


Implementation of these steps have been proven to not only lead to a happier and healthier millennial work force but have a positive effect across the generations, ultimately driving day to day operations and long-term business success.


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