How HR can engage a multi-generational workforce
HR leaders should focus on leveraging cutting-edge technology in the workplace, but without turning their back on more traditional techniques.
They risk alienating some staff if they fail to take this balanced approach, said Garry Adams, leader of Mercer’s Talent business for the Pacific.
“Today’s workforce holds the attitudes, values and goals of four generations, which presents a massive challenge for employers to engage and retain workers to achieve business success,” said Adams.
While meeting the needs of several generations at once can seem a daunting task for HR professionals, they also hold a distinct advantage, said Pip Marlow, managing director of Microsoft Australia, as we’ve never been equipped with such “dynamic and flexible” methods of engaging with our workforce.
“Ultimately, we’re trying to empower people in a mobile, cloud-first world, to be able to access the information they want from any device they want,” she said.
“At Microsoft, this begins with our own product development and training, which allows our people to do it anywhere from any device. It’s about creating the resources and training apps so staff can use their time productively.”
That said, HR executives should back up their cutting-edge methods of communication and training with more traditional processes, to ensure all members of your workforce are comfortable engaging, Marlow added.
“It’s not just the Gen y and Millennials we’ve got to think about – we’ve got four of five generations working side-by-side, which means we need to be very thoughtful about creating an inclusive environment,” she said.
“Certain generations have more experience or greater preference for different types of technology, so we take a multi-channelled approach – we communicate via Twitter, in writing, in person, via internal memos – to make sure our people are consuming content in different ways.”