The present-day context adds a greater-than-normal retention challenge. Companies are struggling to retain their employees. Thus, they have every interest in thinking about different solutions to reduce the exorbitant costs of a high turnover rate. What if an intergenerational work environment could help?
Today, we have four major generations that are involved in the labour market.
With Baby Boomers retiring later and Generation Z slowly entering the workforce, it’s no surprise that the challenges are great. But so are the benefits. To understand the challenges associated with this issue and convert them into benefits, we must identify the needs of these generations.
From Baby Boomers to Generation Z
Baby Boomers and Generation X tend to stay with a company for a very long time. This is due to their careerist nature and their value of salary stability. Generation X, ranging from 41 to 56 years old, add to these criteria the need to feel useful at work. Generation Y and Z, in contrast, place more importance on other factors. In addition, well-being, work-life balance, and the social values that companies support. These generations are also interested in personal and professional development. They have grown up with the internet, are curious, and have a strong taste for entrepreneurship.
So, how do you satisfy the needs of generations that are at odds with each other? Let’s move on to the solutions!
With a varied and flexible total compensation package, companies can cover the different needs of these generations and thus keep them within the company.
Companies that invest in developing a compensation strategy offer flexibility while remaining fair in their practices. The company could offer higher direct compensation with bonuses linked to their efforts and results – all to satisfy the more conventional generations. At the same time, to satisfy the younger generation, the company could offer additional paid time off and telecommuting opportunities – or even personalized recognition.
For these generations to collaborate better, it may be beneficial to encourage them to share their knowledge. The mentor-mentee program would consist of linking two people of different generations as soon as they arrive to allow the older ones to adapt more quickly to new technologies and work practices. For the younger people, the need for recognition could be met by the older people’s appreciation of them. This two-way knowledge transfer could also have a positive impact on team cohesion, the work climate, and therefore employee retention.
While essential for new generations, older ones do not want to see their knowledge become obsolete in an ever-changing market. Training and coaching can be solutions to consider in order to allow younger employees to learn through the company and older ones to update their skills. The company invests internally and avoids having its employees leave because of a lack of evolution or learning.
No matter which generation you are in, the key is still listening and communicating. Over the years, although these have evolved, their importance remains just as crucial to keeping employees happy in a healthy work environment. So, encourage transparency, respect, listening, and being open to your employees!
By Indya Chesnel, CRHA
HR Blog Editor – Iceberg Management
 Jean-François Venne (2021, 10 mai). « Série générations – Générations : place à une nouvelle segmentation !», Ressources humaines, Récupéré de https://www.revuegestion.ca/serie-generations-generations-place-a-une-nouvelle-segmentation