Published: February 17, 2015 | Comments
Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials: each group has unique values and skills shaped by the times they grew up in and the events they experienced together.
While workplace diversity has many upsides, managing a workforce that ranges in age from 21-65+ is a new challenge for Human Resource departments. Factor in an increasingly unsatisfied workforce, along with rapid technological changes, and you have a recipe for low employee engagement and retention.
It’s easy to focus on the differences between each generation, but when it comes to engagement strategy it can be helpful to instead examine the similarities. Different demographics have distinctive values and expectations, but there are also universal features of a satisfying workplace.
For example, nearly every employee values a respectful and challenging work environment with career development opportunities. One way to facilitate an engaging workplace is through the strategic use of HR software.
How HR Tools Can Boost Multi-generational Engagement
Organizations must not only focus on attracting the right employees, but on engaging and retaining them as well. Let’s look at a few different ways companies can cultivate an environment centered on respect, teamwork, and belonging.
In a recent study of employee perks, TechnologyAdvice found that a flexible schedule was the most desired workplace incentive, regardless of age. Though flex time or remote work opportunities can be hard for some businesses to implement, it’s still possible to help promote a healthy work-life balance.
For example, software with labor management features can allow workers at a call center to choose the hours they’d prefer to work. Something as simple as giving employees a chance to suggest which part of the day works best for them can help improve engagement, since workers can tailor their hours around any special needs. This also helps predict any scheduling conflicts, which means fewer absences.
Encourage social learning
Social intranets for organizations are becoming increasingly popular. Though it may seem like social networks are more important among younger generations, older generations are actually helping to drive social media growth as well.
Creating an internal company network is a great way to increase employee engagement, regardless of industry. Intranets are great for helping connect workers, encourage knowledge sharing, and for crowdsourcing solutions to common workplace problems.
One way to eliminate unnecessary administrative hurdles is to include an employee portal through the HR department. Employees value autonomy and being able to access information, such as taxes and benefits, time-off requests, and other personal details. Giving workers convenient access to information that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to readily find empowers them and builds trust.
Provide ongoing learning and development opportunities
Employees of all ages have a universal desire for growth. If they can’t get formal training, learning, and development within an organization, they may start looking for other opportunities. Helping employees build skills and knowledge not only ensures a highly efficient workforce, but builds confidence and engagement.
Some of the best HR software includes learning management systems that can help align organizational goals with training and learning initiatives. This ensures you’re developing the right skills within your workforce and allows you to pair up employees for mentorship opportunities. These collaborative endeavors benefit both the inexperienced and more skilled employee, and help create a culture of improvement.
Give frequent feedback and recognition
It’s important to provide feedback and recognition to all employees. Workers want to do a good job and they want to know they’re doing a good job. One way to help automate consistent and relevant feedback is by implementing a performance management system.
This software not only gives employees the chance to take part in their own development, but it also provides transparency about where each employee excels or needs improvement. Additionally, many can be integrated with training and learning management systems, which increase participation.
Call center employees of all ages can become disengaged due to the repetitive nature of their work, as well as the strict emphasis on performance metrics. But cultivating an environment of respect, growth, trust, and learning can help counteract these issues. Make sure you provide employees with the tools and technology they need to succeed. In a world where disengagement is expected, a motivated workforce can be a company’s biggest competitive advantage.