Culture, Engagement, Branding

How Do You Engage 5 Generations at Once?

Engaging employees in general is already a big enough challenge. But how do you engage five different generations equally well?

Managing today’s workforce is a tall task. Within two years, five generations will be at work simultaneously. Longevity and worries over financial security will keep more people in work, even as younger generations join. And as the corporate ladder turns into a corporate lattice, talent management has become increasingly complex. Many leaders and managers have more questions than answers on how to engage diverse groups of employees despite realizing the importance of an engaged workforce.

“In most organizations, leaders, managers and HR are responsible for building a culture of engagement,” said Patrick Hyland, Principal at Mercer Sirota.  “In order to achieve this, leaders must first understand the factors that drive employee motivation, such as meaningful work, career growth, supportive teams and fair pay and benefits. When employees are engaged, they work harder, stay longer and provide better customer service.”

For organizations to achieve a better outcome to multigenerational engagement they need to:

Look at Leaders and Managers

Effective leaders understand who they are, how they behave and how they influence their team. But with limited resources leaders face more elevated levels of stress. Overwhelmed leaders provide significantly less recognition and support.

Integrate Data

A robust workforce analytics platform can lead to clear insight and action. Whether it be through agile surveying, the personalization of engagement or infused analytics, organizations will have a clearer picture of turnover, productivity, service, profit, efficiency and stock performance

Focus on Performance

Knowing what drives performance in your organization. Through linkage analysis, organizations can identify the critical factors that impact performance.

Tap into the Power of Personal Engagement

Leaders and managers are responsible for building an engaged workforce. Mercer’s experience suggests employees play a role too.

Additionally, employees can take steps to manage their own engagement by:

  • Reflecting on the impact and value of the organization and the work
  • Mentoring colleagues at their organization
  • Finding new projects and challenges that use different skillsets or with different teams
  • Communicating career needs and challenges to leadership

What Comes after Engagement?

Engagement alone does not guarantee exceptional performance. In today’s environment, success requires a workforce that is adaptive, resilient and evolving. The best organizations focus on expanding employees’ skills and capabilities. These organizations don’t just create an engaging work environment – they also enrich the personal assets of their employees by creating opportunities for them to improve themselves through meaningful work, compelling missions and a sense of purpose. Organizations with a thriving workforce thrive themselves.

More Resources

The HR Daily Advisor has published guidance on handling multi-generational work-forces before. Here are a few popular articles: