Read Time 7 minutes
Author udrafter
Date January 31, 2022

Generational Diversity: Here’s how it can help your organisation

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When they think about running a diverse and inclusive business, lots of talent leaders and recruiters first think about hiring employees of different races and ethnicities. This is part of the picture, but generational diversity needs to be taken into account, too.

For example, are you hiring employees from various age groups? Are you making room for Gen Z at work? 

Read on to learn more about generational diversity and the benefits of age-related diversity and inclusion in the workplace. You’ll also find some tips on how you can target early talent and start promoting intergenerational diversity at your company.

What Is Generational Diversity?

Generational diversity is all about making sure a wide range of generations are represented at your company. Currently, the following 5 different generations could potentially be employed at any given company:

  • Traditionalists: Born between 1925 and 1942, Traditionalists remember the impact of World War II, are generally more conservative, and tend to prioritise economic security above all else.
  • Baby Boomers: Born between 1943 and 1964, Baby Boomers were born in the aftermath of World War II, a time of great optimism and economic growth.
  • Gen X: Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen Xers grew up with the advent of computers and the internet.
  • Millennials (Gen Y): Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials (or Gen Yers) were born during a time of economic growth but have already experienced 2 severe economic downturns over the last 20 or so years.
  • Gen Z: Born between 1997 and 2013, Gen Z is the youngest generation to enter the workforce; many Gen Zers are just now graduating from university and trying to navigate the current job market.

Experience vs Early Talent

Currently, across the globe, many employers are focusing on expanding the number of people they hire from older generations (particularly Baby Boomers).

There are plenty of reasons to include older, more experienced people in your company’s hiring pool. At the same time, though, these initiatives can sometimes make it harder for younger employees (including members of Gen Z) to find their place in the workforce.

As a result of initiatives geared toward Baby Boomers and older workers, younger job seekers may find themselves being passed over for people who have more experience. This holds them back from getting on their feet, paying off student debt, and achieving the kind of economic independence that older generations tend to enjoy.

Top 5 Benefits of Generational Diversity

When it comes to promoting generational diversity, hiring more young employees and recruiting early talent can make a big difference in the way your company runs and the kinds of results you see. The following are some of the most noteworthy benefits generational diversity can provide:

1. More Skill Diversity

When you’re hiring talent and aiming to attract new employees to your team, prioritising generational diversity will naturally provide access to a wider skill set.

By making an effort to attract applicants of all ages, you’ll find that your team becomes more diverse in the types of work you can do, as well as the knowledge and experiences that are brought to the table.

For example, younger Millennials and members of Gen Z have grown up with an array of social media apps at their fingertips. They almost inherently know how to create high-quality social media content and tailor it so that it reaches the greatest number of people possible.

What could this kind of talent do for your company? Do any of your current employees have this kind of knowledge, or are they figuring things out as they go?

By casting a wider net and bringing in a more age-diverse group of people, you could overcome some of the biggest obstacles your team has been facing.

2. Better Employee Retention

Generational diversity can promote higher rates of employee retention, too.

If you have a team full of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers with one lone Millennial or Gen Zer, how long do you think that sole young employee is going to stick around, particularly if all their ideas are being shot down and they feel that they aren’t being given a chance to contribute to the company’s goals and mission?

Now, consider a more age-diverse team that features members of multiple generations, all equally represented. Not only will that team have an easier time coming up with new ideas and tapping into a wide range of skills, but no one will feel as though they’re not heard.

These outcomes, in turn, will promote higher rates of engagement across the board. They will result in reduced employee turnover and better retention (which means more savings and less work for your HR department), too.

3. Increased Innovation

Innovation and creative problem-solving also get better with generational diversity.

Which team do you think is going to be better at coming up with unique solutions, providing fresh perspectives, and creating products or services that appeal to a larger group of consumers? A team that is full of people who are roughly the same age and from the same background, or a team that has multiple generations represented and is diverse in other ways (race, gender, etc.)?

In most cases, the second team is going to come out on top when it comes to innovation and creativity.

If you’re looking to give your company a refresh, you can’t keep bringing in the same kinds of employees and expect to see different results. You need to shake up your hiring practices and branch out when it comes to the average ages of your recruits. 

4. Increased Productivity

Not only will your diverse team be more innovative and creative, but they’ll also be more engaged and productive.

Mixed-age teams tend to generate a sort of productivity ripple effect. They naturally create phenomena like knowledge transfer, mentorship, and talent development. Older employees will often help to mentor younger employees and provide insight to get them acclimated to the new company.

At the same time, younger employees can also serve as mentors to older employees, particularly when it comes to understanding new technology or problem-solving techniques. Their presence may generate natural competitiveness between older and younger employees, too, and encourage members of older generations to be more innovative rather than resting on their laurels. 

5. Better Sales and Profits

All of these benefits, from increased productivity and innovation to more skill diversity and better employee retention rates, can lead to increased sales and more profitability for your company. If you want to ensure your team performs well and sets your business up for long-term success, make sure you’re prioritising age diversity in your hiring processes.

Keep in mind, too, that age-diverse companies often have an easier time appealing to their target markets.

A company that sells products or services geared toward Gen Z consumers may have a hard time reaching them if all of their employees are Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Conversely, a company that sells products or services geared toward Baby Boomers may be turned off by a company that primarily employs Millennials and Gen Zers.

When you have a group of employees with all age ranges represented, you’ll have an easier time appealing to a wide range of consumers. If they can see themselves reflected in your staff, they’ll feel that your products or services are good fits for them, and they’ll be more inclined to invest, keep up with the goings-on at your company, and be loyal to you for years to come.

4 Ways to Promote Age Diversity in the Workplace

Do you want to enjoy the benefits of age equality and generational diversity in the workplace? Are you unsure of where to begin?

These 4 tips are all excellent starting points. Give one (or more) of them a try today, especially if you’re interested in hiring more Gen Z employees and supporting younger workers at your company:

1. Prioritise Skills Assessments Over Resumes

Reviewing CVs can certainly be useful when hiring new employees. However, they can also promote age discrimination (both conscious and unconscious).

When a hiring manager becomes too focused on how long a candidate has been in the workforce or how much time they spent at a particular company, they may end up excluding candidates who are qualified and eager to learn just because they’re younger and lack experience.

Blind hiring practices can combat age discrimination and create a fairer hiring process. Placing a greater emphasis on skills assessments, rather than resumes and CVs, can also be useful.

Skills assessments evaluate candidates based on their knowledge and ability to complete certain tasks, rather than how long they’ve been in the industry or where they’ve worked in the past. This naturally creates a more egalitarian hiring system and helps employers hire based on talent and skill first.

2. Assess Your EVP (Employee Value Proposition)

Consider the benefits and rewards your company currently offers (this is also known as an Employee Value Proposition or EVP). Ask yourself if your perks are appealing to the kinds of employees you want to attract.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to bring more young employees and early talent into your company. If this is the case, you may want to focus on promoting benefits like student loan repayment, reimbursement for continuing education courses, and flexible work options.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to attract more older employees, they may be more interested in things like retirement planning.

Ideally, your company’s benefits and EVP will reflect the same diversity that you’re striving for in your employees. If you want to appeal to candidates of all ages, you need to offer perks that people of all ages will find enticing.

3. Improve Onboarding

Generational diversity often leads to better employee retention rates. At the same time, though, so does a thoughtful, carefully planned onboarding process. In fact, good onboarding increases employee retention by up to 82%.

When employees feel welcomed and prepared for the work they’ve been hired to do, they’ll settle in faster, be more productive, and be more engaged. They’re also less likely to experience frustrations that could cause them to quit.

One way to improve the onboarding process is to ensure you’re setting all employees up for success with a more equal training process.

For example, don’t just assume that all of your new hires understand the basics of coding or SEO. Take the time to teach all of them the essentials and provide the same training classes/programs for everyone who joins your team.

This sets everyone up for success right from the start. It also helps them to feel more confident when they start working on team projects and taking on new responsibilities.

4. Promote Other Types of Diversity

Make sure you’re promoting other types of diversity at your company, too. This is especially important if you’re trying to attract Gen Z candidates to your team.

Research shows that members of Gen Z value diversity programs in the workplace, particularly those that place an emphasis on hiring people from an array of gender and racial groups.

When surveyed, a mere 19% of Gen Zers said that they would work for a business that doesn’t share their values. If Gen Z applicants do not feel that your company cares about diversity, they may decide to look elsewhere for a job.

Make sure you’re highlighting your commitment to all types of diversity, not just age diversity, if you want to connect with more early talent.

Prioritise Multigenerational Diversity Today

Are you ready to create a more age-inclusive company culture at your business? When you implement the tips outlined above into your hiring strategy, you’ll have an easier time promoting diversity and inclusivity and reaping all the benefits of an age-diverse workplace.

If you need more help recruiting talent and connecting with Gen Z job seekers, give Udrafter a try today. Our platform connects you with students and recent graduates so you can fill vacancies quickly and set your company up for long-term success. 

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