Millennials seem to be taking over the workforce; articles and advice about how to adapt workspaces and techniques to millennials and how millennials work seem to be everywhere you look in business journalism at the moment.

While this is all relevant in looking at how the modern business world is evolving to suit the young workforce, it’s important to acknowledge that older staff members are likely to still be mixed in with the young’uns. We’ve touched on how office design affects a multi-generational workforce and the problems which can arise from having varied ages in the office; however there are benefits – and ways to maximise them – when it comes to different-aged employees. 

Experience and Skill-set

The most obvious benefit of having twenty-somethings working alongside older colleagues is that each generation has something different to bring to the table. Different ages bring different skills, interests and experience, in terms of technology, work/life-experience and personal growth. With this variation, it allows for many viewpoints to be thrown in the mix, which can be extremely effective in collaborative tasks.

Continuity

A second less-obvious but influential benefit of a multi-generational workforce is the continuity it provides.

In a company of entirely older-generation employees, after several decades these employees will proceed to retire which could put the company in jeopardy if younger employees were not hired throughout the years to eventually replace the original employees. Similarly, if all employees in a start-up company are young and in the same sort of age-range, they may all choose to progress their career and move on within the same time-frame - which again could cause problems.

With a multi-generational group of employees, stability is in place.

Boost the benefits

While a workforce entirely of millennials may be beneficial – everyone is likely to be on the same page with abilities concerning technology which could minimise set-backs etc. – a mixed-group provides great opportunity.

Implementing programmes like peer mentoring, work shadowing and purposefully putting mixed-ages together in group tasks can allow for experience and knowledge to be passed on. It shouldn’t just be one way either – while older generations may have higher understanding, experience and skills in one area, they may be less knowledgeable in an area that their millennial counterpart excels in, and so colleagues can learn from one another.

The collaborative nature of a multi-generational workforce is almost guaranteed, which ultimately boosts the morale, happiness, growth and success of a company.


Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our Content Writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with a love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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