Managing multi-generational workforces
31 October 2022
4 minutes to read
Our Head of People, Sarah Pickerill, recently spoke to Modern Insurance Magazine about keeping multi-generations of employees engaged. At Carpenters Group we have lots of examples of several generations of the same family.
Research has shown that on average, modern workplace culture spans five generations. How are you demonstrating equity within your organisation in light of this? What measures do you have in place to bridge the generational gap?
At Carpenters Group, we understand the importance of managing our multigenerational workforce and the best practice for engaging them, whilst providing a positive employee experience. We know that no matter what age our employees are they all want to have a clear understanding of our business strategy, goals and the role they play in achieving them. Respected leadership and clear channels of communication are key to creating a positive workplace culture.
Our constantly evolving workforce, particularly post pandemic, has required us to adjust how we approach our strategies around employee engagement, communication, collaboration and performance. One of the key objectives of our ongoing management development was to equip our leaders with the tools and knowledge to support their people to do their best work and lead their teams without a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The formal management development programme has been embraced by our employees and provided insight into what role model management behaviour looks like.
We know that employer benefits for different demographics need to be attractive for all employees. This is an evolving process as whilst some benefits are appreciated by all, conceivably 18 year old tends to have very different ideas to what makes an organisation great to work for compared to an employee in their 40s! One example of how we try and offer benefits which are relevant to all but likely to be more impactful within different demographics is paying for qualifying employees to complete their driving theory test. As well as giving crucial information which will help in their role, it is viewed as a benefit which is important to them, this benefit is most utilised by our Gen Z population. Equally we have recently reviewed several policies which, whilst relevant and applicable to all, are more likely to be demographic specific, e.g. our menopause policy. We have run menopause awareness training with excellent engagement, showing how valuable it was in and how it was relevant and welcomed by many.
We know technology and communication are key to how we manage our multigenerational workforce, integrated technology that creates and shapes a positive and user-friendly employee experience across all generations. Technology enables us to gain valuable workforce insights; each generation is unique and responds differently to tone, the type of content, and the medium and communication style that is used. At Carpenters Group, we are constantly reviewing and evolving how we use technology to help support and engage our people. A key focus is on getting the message across and in doing so reaching every employee. We know that different generations prefer to communicate in various ways, from the baby boomers using email to the millennials and gen Z preferring video content, webinars and podcasts and so it is important to recognise and use our wealth of communication channels to ensure we can communicate with our people in a way that works for them.
Visibility and transparency of information is important for all employees, but we know millennials and generation Z employees want and expect full transparency. They want to work for an organisation with an inclusive culture, which encourages positive behaviours and that makes their professional experience a rewarding one and one they are part of. The ability to join important company conversations, and participate in decision making, creates a much stronger sense of purpose and engagement. The launch in particular of our Diversity and Inclusion working group, has been a very positive one. We have seen the huge array of topics brought forward which are important to our employees, this has been an incredibly positive experience for increasing knowledge and awareness for matters which can affect people at different times in their life, topics which have currently been discussed with blogs being prepared to educate others include; baby loss awareness, LGBTQ+, ethnicity, religious beliefs, mental health, menopause. These personal experiences are often difficult to share and it’s testament to the environment created both within this group and Carpenters Group that people feel able to bring their whole self to work and help educate others, whatever demographic they belong to.
We recognise the value all our employees no matter what their age can bring and share learning with others. We continuously promote a culture where knowledge is shared and encouraged to freely flow within our business. At Carpenters Group, we have several generations of the same family employed which is testament in itself for the way we are able to offer careers which span generations and ensure equality of opportunity for all.
Head of People, Carpenters Group
Credit: Modern Insurance Magazine