Each generation has faced different challenges throughout their lives and find themselves in different social and economic positions.
Companies that cater to these are already taking a big step forward in attracting and retaining talent.
So, how do we satisfy the wants and needs of each generation in the workplace? First we need to identify them.
Take a look at the infographic below.
So, where do these wants and needs come from?
Baby Boomers (54-72)
Baby boomers are approaching retirement and are looking to wind down at the end of their career. Things like flexible working and the option to buy holidays can help with improving employee work-life balance.
As we get older we are more likely to face health problems, so baby boomers tend to have this in mind. Employee benefits which offer advice and savings on healthcare can help employees significantly.
Generation X (39-53)
Generation X’s priorities lie in looking after their family, both young and old. Again, flexible working and the option to buy holidays, such as through Holiday Trading, can help improve work-life balance, allowing employees to spend more time with their family.
According to research, they are also more likely to prioritise independence and prefer to follow their own entrepreneurial instinct. This could be as simple as adopting a different management approach.
Millennials look for support in education and their career to help with role transitions or the education-to-work transition. There are a number of ways to approach this.
Making the most of the experience of the baby boomers in your company through mentoring could be effective in this situation. In return, reverse-mentoring can also be beneficial, allowing millennials to teach the older generation about what they know.
Gen Z (23 and younger)
Gen Z have similar priorities to millennials. According to research, they have more worries about the economy and want financial security as a result.
They also face increasing levels of anxiety and depression which is why they seek mental health support more than other generations. Most companies approach this situation by offering mental health advice through their employee benefits package. This could be some simple written advice or the opportunity to confidentially speak to a professional, such as with an EAP.
Some further food for thought
Generational differences can definitely provide some invaluable insight when it comes to job design and benefits, but it doesn’t tell the whole story,
It’s equally important to recognise that everyone is different and that someones wants and needs in the workplace can go completely against what might be considered the norm for someone of their generation.
People’s circumstances can change in a day, as can the environment you work in. All of a sudden the wants and needs of staff can change and the company’s ability to satisfy them can change too.
Having an agile approach is key as is communication.
Communication is key
Whichever way you go about satisfying your employees wants and needs, it’s important to communicate them effectively. Considering the generational differences in wants and needs shows you care.
It can also help to attract talented employees of all generations, which helps to build a workforce made up of diverse skills and experience.
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