Hiring the next generation: how to bridge the gap.
The generation gaps have never been more prominent due to the rapid evolution of technology and social changes.
Terms like ‘Millennial’ and ‘Gen Z’ are becoming a more frequent talking point, creating greater divides in how we communicate, shop and how we work. As the years go by, the differences between the veteran employee and the graduate are going to increase… so how do companies bridge the gap?
We are aware of the impact Social Media and the internet have had on the way we target and reach our customers; advertising is cheaper, and it is easier to monitor campaign success over traditional printed media. But how does it alter practices within your workplace, or the behaviour and relationships of your employees?
- One challenge the employers are facing is a ‘values’ clash. Many Baby Boomers (1949-1964) due to the sheer number of them, have had to compete fiercely amongst themselves for jobs & promotions and therefore feel that the younger generations have been handed a lot more opportunities. The younger generation however often feel that they are not taken seriously or listened to, Gen Z (2000+) in particular, struggle when placed in a corporate setting.
- A second challenge comes in the form of skill set. As mentioned previously technology has evolved dramatically over the years, many Baby Boomers and Millennial’s (1981-2000) will recall the classic maths teacher quote ‘you won’t always have a calculator in your hand so you need to learn your times tables!‘ A concept completely foreign to Gen Z who were born with handheld encyclopaedias of knowledge in the form of a smartphone
- This has left a clear gap between the generations where the Baby Boomers may feel uncomfortable or feeling they are climbing a mountain trying to catch up with the pace of a technology-based world. Many younger Millennial’s and Gen Z on the other hand lack the inability to communicate effectively in a face to face setting often lacking that ‘professionalism’ found in older generations.
It’s a simple solution…Communication! The fundamental difference in the generations is how we communicate, to our friends, to our consumers & to our colleagues. Each person within your team has knowledge that they can share.
The best thing for management to do therefor is to host frequent meetings and training bringing generations together. Allow the younger generations to share their knowledge in technology (thus eradicating the feeling of not being listened to) which in turn encourages the older generations to have more comfort with technology and less …..On the other side of the coin, the meetings should be a phone free zone. Encouraging all participants to communicate with each other build relationships with their colleagues and giving the older generation a platform to share their experience and knowledge on how to handle situations within the corporate setting.