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How HR Should Tackle the Multi-Generational Workforce

Tackling the different ideologies of the ever-growing multigenerational workforce is probably the most onerous task for HR managers. Dealing with people of varying generations under one roof requires exceptional tactics. Hence, one of the easiest ways to learn these strategies is to opt for online employee training software. These e-learning tools are handy and have proven to be useful in training both managers and employees to maintain a peaceful and cohesive workforce.

These generations, i.e., the Millennials, Gen X’ers, Baby boomers, and the Traditionalists are unique in their own ways. Each differs from the other in its work ethics, morals, values, and professionalism. You, as an HR, should be able to strategically manage your diversely skilled team and consider the role of analytics in employee retention to lead a balanced workforce, thereby reducing your company’s employee turnout percentage.

To help you manage such a multigenerational workforce, we have jotted down a few key challenges and practical solutions. Happy reading!

Challenges – How Will Online Employee Training Software Help?

Based on a combination of studies conducted by Navex Global and Pew Research Center, we estimate that the global workforce comprises of 60-70% of Millennials and Gen X’ers, with only 2-3% of traditionalists and 20-30% of baby boomers. So all in all, there are ample chances that an 18-year-old millennial will work with a 50-year-old baby boomer, and these are the challenges you will face in dealing with such a broad spectrum of talents:

  1. Communication: Each age group is comfortable with different styles of communication. You may notice that the Millennials are pretty addicted to texting, emailing, and tweeting, while the Gen X’ers and baby boomers prefer to make it a face-to-face talk. This is where the comfort bars break, and communication lines go off. The statistics from the ‘State of Enterprise Work Report 2015’ by Workfront reveal that over 33% of conflicts arise due to lack of communication between employees.
  • Solution: It all boils down to having a balance. Both the forms of communication, digital and face-to-face, have a set of pros/cons. As a manager, you need to incorporate the two in the right proportions and train your employees to adapt themselves according to the situations. Hence, in cases when face-to-face meetings are possible, Millennials need to buck up themselves, and when the contrary situation arises, the elder generation should learn to use the digital form. An effective way to come up with such strategies and train your workforce to adapt is to choose the online employee training software.
  1. Negative Stereotypes: Each generation is subjected to certain prejudged notions by their counterparts, and these negativities don’t seem to be dropping off. Millennials term their older generation co-workers as ‘old-school,’ stubborn, and a not-so-adaptive bunch of people. On the other hand, Gen X’ers and Baby boomers label their millennial co-workers to be the laziest and self-oriented clan. These stereotypes can lead to grave misunderstandings and can contribute to a drop in the employee retention percentage.
  • Solution: You need to be more communicative and explanatory in these cases. Conflicts are sure to arise with this stereotypical thinking, but a quick clarification and fact-proven explanation of how age cannot be a factor to judge someone’s creativity and work ethics are required to wipe away the negative notions. As a manager, you have to understand the role of analytics in employee retention. Once you know how to analyze the key factors that contribute to reducing the retention percentage, you will be able to apply proper strategies.
  1. Values and Culture: Each of these generations differs from the other in regards to its culture and values. What an employee from the Generation X takes to be as a culture is not something that will be entirely accepted by Millennials or Baby boomers. The same goes for values and ethics. For instance, in a group discussion, an elderly worker from the baby boomers might find the Millennials and Gen X’ers to be way casual and lacking formal work ethics. This can lead to unfriendly environments and loss of productivity.

The mere solution

Interactivity is what will fit the best in here. Call for more casual meetings, office get-togethers, and festival celebrations. The more your teammates get to know each other; the more will you find a positive trend in collaboration and cooperation.

Bringing about so many changes in your workforce is quite overwhelming. However, the recent studies revealing the benefits of online employee training software in building a productive team driven by positivity, and mutual respect is a green signal! So all you need to do is put in your efforts, and with time, you will see your challenges turning into milestones.

Author BioKamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & e-learning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.

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