Workforce strategies must be multigenerational

Employers can boost productivity by playing to the strengths of the different generational cohorts.

Employers can significantly improve workforce productivity by targeting the needs of the different generations, according to recent American research.

The study on the multigenerational workforce of the 21st century was conducted by the Metlife Insurance group and the Boston-based Sloan Center on Aging and Work.

The study found that older workers tended to be more engaged than younger workers and women tended to be more engaged than men.

Some of the factors that tended to reduce employee engagement included caring for elderly relatives, poor mental and physical health, negative self-perception and poor job security.

Information about employees was gathered from nine US workplaces using online surveys and written questionnaires.

The good news, according to the researchers, is that simple and cost-effective strategies can be used to boost engagement among workers.

But it is not a case of one-size fits all. Different generational cohorts are motivated by different methods.

Generation Y employees (those born after 1980) most desire a flexible work-life balance.

And while younger Gen Xers (those born between 1972 and 1980) value training and development, older Gen Xers (those born between 1965 and 1971) are looking for supervisory roles.

Younger Baby Boomers (those born between 1955 and 1964) respond well when they are included in their work team and older Boomers (those born between before 1955. perform better when their supervisors are supportive.

“The findings of our study suggest that employers who want to enhance employee engagement should consider how to update their assumptions about the importance of the quality of the employment experiences they offer to employees,” said Sloan Center Director, Dr Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes.

“We found that different factors ‘drive’ the levels of engagement of different groups of employees. There is no single solution to low levels of engagement. 

“Therefore, it is in employers’ interests to strengthen multiple aspects of the quality of employment.”

Tags: multigenerational, research, usa, workforce,

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