Part Three: Designing a Multigenerational Work Experience

Part Three: Designing a Multigenerational Work Experience

Two weeks ago we launched a three-part series on designing a multi-generational work experience and today, as promised, are some actions CEOs and leaders can take that, we believe, will drive the growth of their businesses.  We know that hiring and retaining top talent is one of the most important things a CEO can do but, keeping employees engaged and delivering requires an employee experience that caters to all generations.  The great news is that most CEOs, 96% according to Deloitte, understand this and are working to prioritize employee experience.

Designing a multi-generational work experience:

  • Change antiquated compensation structures:  Companies are asking employees to take on more responsibilities and people are still looking for more flexibility in their work styles.  Many compensation structures are antiquated and there is an opportunity to design a flex compensation model to address the personal needs of individuals while meeting the corporate needs of getting more out of your employees.  Companies need to take a hard look at compensation and overhaul outdated models.  Long gone are the days of the one size fits all compensation policy and by designing a compensation and benefits toolkit that enables hiring leaders to flex compensation, based on individual and departmental needs, is a smart solution.  Overhauling compensation is a huge undertaking but this will allow companies to attract, hire and retain the best talent while staying within budget and deliver on the needs of individual employees.  
  • Budget for upskilling:  Companies pay a fortune recruiting for leadership because they feel they don’t have the best talent in-house.  Typically, they are right about this but putting more investment behind leadership training and development is a way to continuously build your bench and develop up-and-coming talent for years to come.  I frequently listen to managers complain about their people but I don’t see enough leadership development programs to help younger managers grow into executive leaders.
  • Be intentional about generationally diversifying your workforce:  There is a tremendous amount of data to support the positive impact that comes from multiple generations in the workplace.  Leaders too often hire people who are like themselves or younger in age.  Diversity matters and the best CEOs hire a team around them that comes with a broad set of skills and experiences.  Intentionally designing work teams that are diverse in age will naturally bring mentorship into your organization and allow all generations to learn from each other.  Formally designing a mentorship program that connects more seasoned leaders to younger executives will take this idea even further.
  • Consider the life-stage needs of all generations when designing benefits:  Parental leave is a hot topic, with new parents often choosing to stay with a company or depart because of the benefits, or lack thereof.  Knowing the impact benefits have on those building their family, it only makes sense to consider those that are caring for older parents or sick family members.  With the bulk of executive leaders being Gen X, also known as the “sandwich generation”, caring for both aging parents and growing kids, designing leave policies that address the needs of all generations will make a difference in your recruiting and retention efforts.
  • Find commonality:  What are the common links for the generations of people within your company?  Find those links and double down on them.  Create cultural and learning experiences that cross the generations and unite employees.  The one thing we know that matters to ALL generations is PURPOSE.  Everyone wants to feel their work is making an impact and that they have purpose.  Designing a work experience that centers around this common link can be the bridge that crosses generations.

In the end, people build companies and attracting and retaining the best talent, regardless of what generation they are from, is what will make your company grow.  If you are focused on long-term profits and growth, designing a multi-generational work experience will help you get there.