Cracking the code of multi-generational workforce
People, leadership without technology will not get you anywhere. You can have all your apps, the best systems, processes, but if you don’t have leadership or processes then you won't succeed.
As the world is graying, India is getting younger by the day. By 2020, the average age of Indian population will be 29 years. In Japan, 25% population is above 65. This clearly has certain implications.
Let’s understand that who consists of Multigenerational workforce
Dividing the population into 3 different categories, the first is between the age-group of 50-70 years who are known as the Baby boomers, they are good team players, idealist, optimists and are born in the time which was more plentiful and less stressful.
The second group is between 35-49 years who are flexible, adaptable, younger, cynical, pessimistic, and self-sufficient. And the third group is between 20-34 years who essentially believe in teamwork, yet for them, life is all about likes on FB, they are known as millennials, digital natives, entitled yet impatient.
However, does it mean that Millennial aspirations were different from those who were Baby Boomers? Mostly, No.
The aspirations of yesterday and today are almost similar. They are concerned about the following things:
- Decent job
- Meaningful contribution that you are company makes in whatever it does
A company like Nestle which is about 105 years old, has 70% of its workforce who are Millennials.
But why are they young?
Because of the organization culture. It doesn’t matter how old is your organization, the leadership defines the culture. You can have all the apps in the world but if your organization is devoid of any values, culture, it will be difficult to succeed.
Nestle works on the following values:
The fact of the matter is the tenacity in which the values, an organization strive for, to keep talent to stay at the organizations. As talent leaders, we all want to retain good talent to stay, and if you have a strong culture, you might be able to succeed.
So how do you make that happen?
The best way is by coaching and mentoring. Youngsters do not have a lack of technical skills, but where we trip by is the software of leadership. The leaders are now so self-engrossed that they sit at their power seat and not impart their wisdom to the newer talent. The next-gen doesn't get the leadership wisdom because leaders are not focussed on what to give.
For any organization, the following points must be kept in mind to succeed along with technology:
- Gender: you need to have a gender-neutral organization.
- Geography: need to be able to work with multi-national employees
- Varied exposures: you have to give employees exposure beyond their work ambit.
- Differently-abled workforce: How we incorporate the widely productive yet massively underrepresented in organizations because we are blinkered to think them as liabilities.
- Thought leadership: what millennials can bring to the table
So ultimately, using the old and the young talent together is the mantra for success. And that is why the challenge is how to change the mindsets, which is not necessarily generational.
The final points to be remembered for cracking the multigenerational workforce:
- Don't lose sights on individual sparks
- Purpose and values
- Opportunities and recognition
- Diversity of gender thought and ability
- Social footprint and passion
- Fulfillment of professional and personal goals
(This article is curated from the Mega Keynote Session – Cracking the multi-generational Workforce” by Suresh Narayanan – CMD at Nestle at TechHR’17)