The retirement age increases, and world progress and modern medicine does not stand still positively affecting life expectancy. Besides, regardless of how far before retirement, people like to feel busy and needed. Thus, the novice professionals working together with experienced professionals. But as five different generations to coexist in the same office?
According to the American Association of retired persons (AARP), members aged 65 years and older are the fastest growing employment segment. The Bureau of labor statistics of the United States show that almost 40% of adults aged 55 years and older either employed or looking for work. According to the health Ministry, the average life expectancy of Russians increased by 8.5 months — up to 73.6 years for 8 months of 2019. Established trend to work longer and output generation Z to the labour market are the cause that up to five generations of people working in the same company.
Now, in the offices you can find five different types of ages: “silent generation” (born before 1946) and baby boomers (1946-1964) to generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Millennials (1981-1998). Now joined by the latest working group — generation Z, born after 1998. Different age structure promises a lot of features for companies, because all generations have different habits and working styles. If the older generation usually likes private offices, young employees usually want more communication and more loyal to the open space. What can the employer for the successful development of the team, which employs so many generations with their own unique needs?
First of all, we must abandon stereotypes. Not all Millennials — carefree jumpers from one job to another, always ready to turn his career 360 degrees. The traits usually attributed to Millennials (impatience, high expectations for career growth, aspiration to self-realization), more precisely can be described in one word — youth.
As for the baby boomers, they are able to master new technologies: a recent study by Forbes says that about 60% of people of this generation appreciate digital technology, especially in terms of travel: online registration, hotel reservation online, access to hotel rooms via a smartphone instead of a key or card, and much more. Not everyone of the “silent generation” powerless gadgets.
It is also not true that the generation of Z only does that sits on the Internet, communicating exclusively through selfies and absurd amount of Emoji. And generation X does not take all decisions only after rigorous risk scoring.
We all belong to one of these generations. Whether we learn the above qualities in yourself? Probably not. So don’t make assumptions based solely on the employee’s age. Stereotypical thinking will not help you create a cohesive team and supportive working environment.
Undoubtedly, the age depend on some features. The study group IWG showed that generation Z is interested in innovative and promising jobs — they grew up in the technology era, you know how quickly changing and evolving world, and to keep up with him not going. Consultant recruiting company AVANTA Personnel Adecco Group Russia Natalia Skiruta believes that the older generation is generally more conservative and committed to stability, while youth are willing to seek his way of life and build a career.
Generation Z grew among technologies, their learning. They are at school learning English and continue to improve — whether it’s a funny video on Youtube or penpal in another country. They love to learn and master new things, they like to be helpful, they are inspired by the iconic founders of Google, or Apple, to create their masterpieces in the garage. Generation Z believes that anything is possible. Their ambition, creativity and skills can be useful to both the company and the other, more senior generations. In return they can get accumulated professionalism and experience of baby boomers and the “silent generation.”
Older people saw with their own eyes the work and the world works, they are already hardened in various situations, of which brought valuable knowledge. The IWG study showed that 53% of employees working together with other generations, believe that learned a lot from them. And 35% of employees believe that they have become mentors and colleagues taught something new.
The ability to recognize strengths and to combine them in teams necessary for the success of the business and overcome the age of distrust among colleagues. To manage people of different ages can be challenging for managers: a unified approach to all of the employees here will not work. Even if one generation within the team there are many nuances and differences. Additional skills and experience can create a successful team. Head of the Centre for European economic research (ZEW) Thomas Zwick focuses HR managers on that team, consisting of representatives of different generations, gives the best performance. Five generations under one roof can open completely new opportunities for your business.
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