Diversity fosters creativity. We need to generate the best ideas from our people in all levels of the company and incorporate them into our business practices. –FRéDéRic ROzé
Careers don’t look the same as they did before. With the demand for talent rising and the development of people a top priority - the business climate is changing as it makes way for a workforce where diversity and inclusion are at the forefront. Companies are now compelled to educate themselves and to find new ways of motivating employees from all generations. And so with all this variation - how can leadership create value out of a multigenerational workforce?
One size does not fit all
The arrival of the productivity-conscious Baby Boomers, tech savvy- Millennials, fiercely independent Gen X and digitally fluent Gen-zers requires leaders to demand a rethinking of the roles, structures, tools and strategies used to navigate through each generation. To ensure we are creating a culture where every individual is valued for their unique contributions and that they are able to achieve their highest potential, we need to broaden the pool of talent a company can recruit from. This means striving toward a workplace that celebrates the different stages employees are at in their lives and motivating them with incentives that matter. This is key if we want to build a future where diversity is a part of work life - and not merely a goal or check-box.
Making diversity part of your organization
More and more people long for truly personalized career development. The movement toward an ageless, gender- equal and culturally diverse future of work is about leadership’s ability to help nurture and support the performance of their employees by recognizing that they each have distinct sets of skills to bring to the table. Leadership sets the standards for the quality of employee performance and company culture, which means employees turn to management as examples and to keep them focused on achieving their goals; but the only way leaders can change the behaviour of others is to look at the way they are behaving themselves. This requires an adjustment of their management style in order to successfully engage with their teams.
The key for leadership going forward is to focus on relationships, learn to listen and commit to being inspirational. In order to leverage each generation's expertise, identity needs to be part of this conversation. What it means to be a diverse and inclusive culture is not just about how an organization looks on the outside; but that on the inside, you have a space that accepts employees for who they are and encourages their contributions in an integrative way - no matter where they come from, what they look like or the stage of life they are currently in.
From exclusivity to diversity
At the end of the day, when you are creating an environment where people can come together with their own views and feel respected for doing so, competitively, your company and bottom line will thank you. Looking forward, leadership is going to have to experiment with new ways to incentivize an aging workforce, a declining pipeline of qualified talent and all the challenges that accompany a multigenerational environment. But as long as organizations can keep diversity and inclusion efforts at the top of their priority list, it will position them to endure these challenges and come out stronger for it.
How are you approaching the changing needs of a multigenerational workforce?
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The need to build an inclusive workplace where diversity of thought and personality is respected has never been more important. Employees have a life outside of work as much as they have a life inside work. Unless organisations cater to the employee as a whole person, that employee will tend to have a deficit in their heart – a deficit of connections and friendships within their organisation, which can lead to disengagement and disenchantment.