3 Tips to Better Engage a Multi-Generational Workforce

by Carol Lynn
Leading People, Uncategorized - 2 years ago

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Carol Lynn. Her opinions are her own. 

While “Unity in diversity” might be an ideal concept in other spheres of life, the concept of the multigenerational workforce is in no way a “sweet-nothing” to the employer’s ear.

Many workplaces have experienced the unprecedented presence of up to five generations working together, simultaneously. The traditionalists (also known as The Silent Generation) (1927-1945), the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), Millennial/Generation Y (1981-1996) and Generation Z (born since 1997), make up the present workforce.

While the amalgamation of the different generations in the workforce is an example of a united front, it nonetheless creates specific challenges for employers. They are faced with the prospect of meeting a broad range of needs and expectations.

What’s the price to be paid for a disengaged workforce?

The most critical factor for the smooth running of any business is employee engagement. Without engagement from the employees a company or any business for that matter, would not stand the test of time. The 2016 report of Global Human Capital Trends (Deloitte University Press) states that 85% of survey respondents had ranked engagement as the top priority. However surprisingly, only 46% had reported that they were prepared to face and address the engagement challenges.

Despite all the hue and cry around the topic, there has never been any visible addressing the issue of employee engagement. Gallup’s measuring and tracking metric has addressed the fact that almost 20% of the U.S. workers are “actively disengaged” employees. There is even a worse logistic possibility that nearly 51% of the workers fall into the “not engaged” category. These employees, while not negatively hampering the business, tend to do the bare minimum asked of them. As per Gallup’s report, disengagement costs the U.S. $500 billion, annually.

Disengagement is obviously too big and expensive of an issue to ignore. The answer is smart human capital management technology which can work wonders under the present scenario. HCM can create compelling work environments. It boosts them up to go that extra mile and provide that extra discretionary effort to the organization.

There are many ways to implement employee retention strategies. The issue of the generation, employment position or status does not matter then.

Few areas where a good HCM technology, strategy, and implementation can make a huge difference are explained below. Here are 3 tips to better engage a multi-generational workforce.

1. Recruiting

Technology and user experience have a critical role to play in recruiting. They can get your engagement efforts started on the right track. According to a recent survey, nearly 20% of job seekers tend to give up an online application if they cannot complete or access it on their mobile device. It accounts for almost 70% of the job seekers who are interested in applying via mobiles or smartphones. As against that only a quarter of the large companies have optimized their hiring process in favour of the mobile devices.

Improving the efficiency and the user experience for your hiring process eases the pressure on the managers and also ensures the fact that the good and deserving candidates do not get lost in the process. Moreover, such prescreening tools can help managers go through the recruitment process more efficiently and smoothly. They can short-list the best candidates fit for the required job and get the hiring process done over with really quickly. Notifications, alerts and automated workflows make the process much quicker while keeping everyone required involved in the process.

2. Performance management

Performance management is another important criterion for the entire workforce and drives maximum engagement. Managers are tasked with providing continuous feedback regarding the employee performance instead of the traditional approach of annual reviews.

Being aware of their activities, their performance level, the way their goals align with the corporate goals, etc. makes them perform at a higher level and stay longer with the organization. The technology of HCM provides the managers with the tools to create an ongoing feedback on employee activities. The feedback may be generated from goals and key performance indicators, the need to promote ongoing performance development, stay on top of learning for developing the existing skills and manage compensation.

Providing all these along with a significantly easy to handle mobile interface helps in creating a more productive, motivating and engaging workforce. A report on the performance of every employee is bound to create awareness amongst them thus leading to an increased interest in their performance and the desire to prove their worth, aligning to the corporate goals of the company.

3. Scheduling

When there is access to flexible scheduling tools for employees, it helps them manage their working hours properly. With the help of these benefits, companies witness a significant impact on engagement, performance, and retention.

HCM solutions in the present day help organizations involve employees in the decisions when they work with the help of tools like shift swapping. Tools like this and others as well, increase the flexibility ratio for employees. Research has shown that organizations which offer shift-swapping capabilities had a higher rate of engagement and average turnover level than those which do not employ such measures.

While HCM technology can without a doubt improve the user experience and most importantly increase employee engagement, one should remember that even the best technology can fail sometimes.

It is even better to take an assignment help to recognize the processes that go behind the technology, failing to understand which might just not be the best option in case of a technology failure. Process improvements and technology improvements go simultaneously together.

If any business is thinking of incorporating and implementing a HCM system, they should at first scrutinize, understand and analyze the workflow of that place and how it needs to be improved upon. They should also decide whether to leverage a uniform platform which includes HR, the workforce as well as payroll or leverage the best solutions for each area irrespective of their functions.

There is a reason why certain companies are actually ahead of the pack. Their utmost goal is maximum customer satisfaction. They work towards providing a superior and smooth customer experience to attract, engage, retain and cultivate good customer-company relationships. It is the gospel truth that a seamless customer experience increases the success level of the company. Hence it should be the primary goal of every organization and thereby of every employee, regardless of their generation, to provide a rewarding, transparent and professionally fulfilling experience to their customers.