Here’s an interesting people factoid: At least three generations are playing in the workplace sandbox today, with a fourth set to join soon. The Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y are about to welcome Gen Z, sometimes called Gen 9/11. And we have more expected to arrive in the next decade.
While the entrance of a new generation into the workplace often signals the exit of another, we don’t expect Boomers to move on to retirement as quickly as anticipated. Longer lifespans, better healthcare and a failing economy are creating unusual pressure on would-be retirees, keeping many in the workplace — and skewing the demand curve for younger workers. Plus, Boomers are a populous generation, and their sheer numbers constitute a variable contributing to these circumstances.
All of this puts enormous pressure on leadership and HR. What some may miss, however, is how much pressure it puts on workers in the multigenerational workplace. Older workers may fear layoffs designed to bring in younger, cheaper labor. They are scrambling to keep skills current. Young workers may be exasperated by mature workers who are perceived as less hip to social technologies, yet the younger ones may lack the ability and seasoning to be strategic and make good decisions.
So how do HR professionals, their leadership and other business leaders keep the peace in the multigenerational workforce? And how do they keep pace? Fresh blood needs to be coming in — even when there’s a hiring freeze. How can you ensure that everyone has access to the training necessary to keep skills current? How do you keep talent motivated for that training? A mixed team must pull in the same direction. That’s a challenge.
Join us Wednesday for “#TChat, The World of Work,” when we’ll be looking at the impact of the multigenerational workplace on leadership, HR and recruiting. Here are this week’s questions:
Q1: There are fewer jobs today for all generations, so what are we to do?
Q2: How do the generations adapt their skill sets to what’s needed today in business?
Q3: Who are we loyal to today? The employer, the brand, the work and/or the team? And why?
Q4: What generation are you and what kind of communication and collaboration tech do you use for work? And why?
Q5: How do business leaders best marshal the talents of a multigenerational team?
Again, that’s #TChat on Wednesday, May 30, from 7-8 pm ET (6-7 pm CT, 4-5 pm PT, or wherever you are). Please join us to talk about the multigenerational workforce. Marla Gottschalk, a friend of mine who happens to be an industrial & organizational psychologist specializing in corporate culture, innovation strategies and organizational change, will be your moderator, backed up by me (@MeghanMBiro) and Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman). Supporting us as we all field and respond to your many tweets will be Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean), Salima Nathoo (@SocialSalima) and Brent Skinner (@BrentSkinner). We’ve got multiple generations on our minds, so join us. See you there!
image credit: Generation Gap, by xflickrx