EngagementUnlocking the full potential of five generations under one roof

Unlocking the full potential of five generations under one roof

Workforces are constantly expanding, with multiple generations of employees sitting under one roof, what can business leaders do to accommodate for all?

As companies evolve, workforces are increasingly expanding enabling employees joining organisations from such a wide range of backgrounds. With multi-generational workforces becoming more of a common thing, there are many positives that come along with having this workforce. However there can be many difficulties for business leaders when looking to engage and attract a workforce widely spread across different ages and demographics.


As the job market expands prioritising employee job satisfaction can increase loyalty and retention, further strengthening a workforce. Although with five generations now making up the modern workforce, implementing similar employee benefits is no longer enough to ensure an organisation is truly diverse.

Accommodating for these large diverse workforces could offer a huge opportunity as this could result in businesses being able to innovate through a variety of ideas coming from different minds and experiences, furthermore, this could also present the chance for positive communication and collaboration, with employees from different backgrounds grasping the possibility to learn off of each other.

“We have an opportunity with now Gen Y being the main part of our workforce and Gen Z coming into it. We are going to be managing four to five generations potentially at the same time. And I do hope that we as a world can become much more open-minded and learn from this younger generation that is much more open-minded” said Lenka Patten, VP HR, Reebok commenting on what benefits this new workforce could potentially bring.

It’s essential for businesses to grasp these opportunities by changing the way we work to ensure that there are changes being made to work to consistently engage everyone. With new technology transforming the employment landscape, and the next generation of workers born as digital natives, UK businesses are faced with an important opportunity to fundamentally change the way we work. Our Economy of People report revealed that if culture, workspace and technology strategies were properly aligned, we could unlock £36.8 billion in untapped GDP and address our productivity woes for good.” said Chas Moloney, Marketing Director, Ricoh UK & Ireland.

Technology and research could be key to maximising the potential to this new type of workforce, however, employee feedback is also just as central in ensuring that everyone within the workforce is having their voice heard.

“Some businesses may worry that employing individuals of a wide variety of ages could be a cause for tension due to a lack of shared values and interests among its staff. However, in order to alleviate this concern, it is essential to ensure the person’s values reflect that of the company and its existing staff as early as the recruitment process. Promoting an environment where collaboration and the sharing of ideas is valued will mean that employees will know what is expected of them from the offset.” said Jo Sellick, Managing Director, Sellick Partnership.

As well as supporting employees through culture and employee benefits in order to sustain engagement. Businesses must also make it a priority to support the future developments of their workforce, ensuring that they are fully equipped for their future careers and digital disruption.

“A business’ strength lies in its people. Supporting the future generation of workers with the right tools, development and programmes is fundamental in promoting fairness, inclusion and collaboration within any business. Leading by example, we have developed a secondary school outreach programme encouraging more girls to take up careers in STEM, and are also working with our suppliers to bring about a diverse and sustainable supply chain through our Supplier Engagement Committee.” said Moloney.

Business leaders that embark upon this journey into attracting and retaining talent across a wide range of backgrounds could be on the verge of reaping the benefits of unlocking the full potential of this opportunity, and if they adjust and execute their business models well enough to match everyone’s needs, the possibilities could be endless.

Jo concluded by saying “Multigenerational workforces offer something truly unique, a wealth of experience, ideas, and aspirations that will make your business stand out from the crowd. It may require more work on your part to ensure that business values are reflected among a more diverse group of individuals, but the rewards you gain from achieving this are unquestionable.”

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