There are significant benefits to building a multi-generational workforce. You get to take advantage of different kinds of life experience, while simultaneously tapping into a wide variety of markets. By hiring people from multiple age brackets, you can draw on a more representative cross-section of the population. At the same time, you can create a more innovative and creative response team.
To get there, businesses often have to ignore some well-entrenched stereotypes. We’ve all heard the “okay Boomer” jokes. People have been teasing Millenials for more than a decade now. The older Zoomers are just starting out in their careers, and, with COVID-19, they are facing one of the toughest job markets in years.
To sum it up: every generation faces its workplace challenges. Still, from your point of view as a business team builder, it’s important to make these different age brackets fit together. It’s a key part of developing a diverse, dynamic workforce.
Not convinced? Here are five specific benefits you gain from having a multi-generational workforce:
Broader Team-Building Opportunities
Often, employers go into the recruitment process with a preset vision of the ideal candidate. Finding a hire then involves completing a specific rigid checklist. It also often narrows the generational pool you’re looking for a particular position.
This can limit your potential. In other words, you put a ceiling on your team before you even make a hiring decision. By looking for candidates from every walk of life, you open up the chances of finding top talent.
Don’t narrowly define your search at the start and don’t constrain yourself to certain experiences or educational parameters. Of course, certain baseline qualifications are necessary. But, as much as possible, open up your expectations and let yourself find the best applicant out of every hiring cycle.
Balance Experience with Cutting-Edge Education
A team member with decades of industry experience brings significant insight to your company. Nothing can substitute for that hard real-life experience. They have been through it all and can use that hard-won knowledge to navigate you through whatever the future brings.
However, a decades–long career means an employee has been away from school for a long time. Much of what they learned back then no longer applies in the modern workplace. Of course, they’ve likely compensated over the years with additional training. But it’s not the same intensive immersion you can get from formal education.
Younger workers bring the opposing dynamic into play. They might not have the practical experience that a veteran staffer, but their training is fresh and represents the cutting edge. A multi-generational workforce lets you balance these situations. You get the best of both worlds.
Wider Institutional Perspective
Groupthink is a serious problem within any organization. When everyone draws on the same basic experience and background, they have a tendency to get stuck in familiar patterns. It can constrain innovation and narrow your problem-solving possibilities.
That’s why diversity is important. It brings different perspectives to the table, helping you avoid the groupthink pitfall. A multigenerational approach fits into this team–building strategy. Older and younger employees will naturally bring separate outlooks to any challenges you face. It just gives you more options when weighing the right response to a situation.
Tap into Diverse Markets
Having a multi–generational team doesn’t just improve your internal operations. It also boosts the customer-facing side of your business.
Like any injection of diversity, having additional voices on your staff lets you understand markets better. Want to tap into the youth market? You have younger workers on staff to guide you. Want to expand your reach with more mature customers? Your older workers can help you there.
Natural Mentoring Conditions
Team building isn’t just about hiring. It’s also about developing workers once you have them in the organization. Mentoring is an excellent way to improve the people you have on staff…and having a multi-generational workforce creates the natural conditions for this kind of relationship.
Pairing older workers and younger workers provides built-in mentoring opportunities. Encouraging these situations, where older workers interact meaningfully with their younger peers, creates significant long-term benefits for the company.
Ready to get started building your multi-generational team? Don’t know where to start? Expert advice can help you jumpstart your team-building efforts. A strong staffing partner, like Recruiting In Motion, brings you the perfect fit for any open position you have.