Stina Näslund, Human Resources Manager for Equatex, discusses the opportunities that multi-generational workforces can bring to an organisation such as Equatex.
Multi-generational workforces offer many opportunities for companies. Of course, there may be differences of opinions, but different generations bring diversity, new ideas, varying levels of experience and suggestions for improvements to the workplace.
Different generations can also learn from and help each other: younger employees may be enthusiastic and have lots of ideas but they may not know how to execute them or be able to see if, for example, something is risky, whereas older employees have more experience. I think having a mix of age groups is good for companies that want to be innovative and flexible.
Younger generations may expect workplaces to be fast-paced and more transparent and for decisions to be made as a team, but again this provides opportunities. Communication is the key for everything – HR should ensure interaction between all teams and if there are any issues, these are discussed openly.
Different generations bring diversity, new ideas, varying levels of experience and suggestions for improvements to the workplace
It’s not only salary that Millennials consider when applying for new roles; training and development is important to them so they tend to look at how they could advance in a company. Social responsibility is also significant for younger age groups: they want to feel proud of where they work and that they are making a difference. So when recruiting, HR managers need to recognise the importance of development to this generation and illustrate the company’s social responsibility strategies. In contrast, older generations may look for jobs that are safe and secure, and somewhere they can work for a longer period.
Yet, all generations are changing jobs more often than they used to and this will continue to be a challenge for HR.
Equatex’s core values are innovation, commitment and trust, and as part of this we have a dynamic and flexible multi-generational workforce. Engagement initiatives such as the Global Corporate Challenge (teams from across the organisation aim to walk at least 10,000 steps a day) are popular with our entire workforce. It’s been a good opportunity to mix teams between not only different departments, but also age groups and even countries.
Equatex also has clients of different generations, so having age-diverse teams in the business is useful for understanding what they are thinking and what they believe is important. It’s crucial to be aware that the make-up of workforces is changing but overall I don’t think we can generalise too much. It’s good to be aware that there are differences between generations to a certain point, but HR managers must also consider individual employees and how they fit into the team.