Article: Hiring the changing workforce mix: Is it Gen Y vs Gen X?

Recruitment

Hiring the changing workforce mix: Is it Gen Y vs Gen X?

The two generations have common points and divergences when it comes to hiring and organizations need to keep that in mind
Hiring the changing workforce mix: Is it Gen Y vs Gen X?

As part of the ongoing IHO Week, People Matters and Monster.com conducted a webinar with Seema Nambiar Arora, Sr. Director-People Resources, McDonald’s India, (West & South Region) on February 18 about hiring the changing workforce mix. This interactive session raised some very fundamental questions on the differences between Gen X and Gen Y and how organizations can make a cohesive workplace for this mixed-generation workforce.

Organizations need to accept that the two distinct coexisting generations in the workplace have different lives and different drives. These differences are real, but both look for trust and respect in their work. Whereas Gen X looks at people valuing their wisdom and experience, Gen Y looks for acknowledgement of their ideas and suggestions. To facilitate this interaction, HR needs to have forums for questions and informal sessions in offices, apart from town hall meetings and official engagements.

Across both generations, organizational politics is a no-no and it is for HR to not ignore these signs but rather shape them in a way that they promote clarity of decisions. A major motivator of the workforce is promotions, and a clear performance management system can help make this process transparent and discourage politics and an overactive grapevine.

While looking at retention, companies should focus on the right reasons like good compensation, learning and development and recognition. This will promote a healthy workplace and set up the right context and communication.

Another interesting fact that came up as part of the webinar was the fact that 97 per cent of the workforce is looking to learn relevant skills. A formal L&D program can create an active learning culture in the organization.

A point of differentiation that comes across generations is adaptability to technology. Whereas Gen Y has had great exposure to contemporary technology, Gen X needs to learn and adapt to be at the same level. This is a real difference and the right training and skilling can be a great leveler at the workplace.

Arora made the point that Gen X and Gen Y are not so different when it came to values. However, these generations have had different influencers growing up, which make for a divergent outlook. Organizations need to acknowledge this dissimilarity and build their practices around them in the long run. Also, with the emergence of Gen Z or the Baby Boomers, companies will need to work faster to make the right frameworks.

Key Takeaway

• Gen X and Gen Y are not so different when it came to values, and both look for trust and respect in their work

• 97 per cent of the workforce is looking to learn relevant skills and a formal L&D program can create an active learning culture

• Gen X looks at people valuing their wisdom and experience, Gen Y looks for acknowledgement of their ideas and suggestions

• With the emergence of Gen Z, companies will need to work faster to make the right frameworks

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Topics: Recruitment, #IHOWeek

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