Digital Transformation and the Multi-generational Workforce

Managing a multi-generational workforce is just one of the challenges facing businesses today.  The modern workforce can comprise up to five different generations; the traditionalist, the baby boomer, Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z.

We know that in order for digital transformation to be successful, people must be at the centre, but how do the differing needs of a multi-generational workforce affect this?

Whilst there are some stereotypical traits of each generation that may be broadly accurate e.g. millennials want new experiences and new skills, whilst baby boomers are focused on big wins and want the credit for success, basing any business transformation strategy on such traits is a mistake.

Here, we look at some of the key strategies for managing digital transformation in a multi-generational workforce.

  • Culture of Inclusion
    • Creating a business culture that values the input of all generations equally is an essential building block for successful digital transformation. Look for opportunities to bring together employees from different generations with different skills to work together, and ensure that your culture values all experiences, values, and knowledge
  • Celebrate Differences
    • Acknowledge the differences in generational workstyles, and where appropriate celebrate them in a way that demonstrates the value of a particular approach to the whole of the business. Whilst a traditionalist and a millennial may approach the same task in different ways, there are likely to be positives to both approaches that should be shared
  • Value Agility
    • Whilst an agile approach to working is more associated with younger generations, older workers who are willing and able to adapt and change to new ways of working should be valued also. Workforce agility is key to the success of digital transformation and can be valued over straight skills and experience
  • Focus on Customer/Client Experience
    • We are operating in the consumer generation and it is not defined by age. ‘Generation C’ comprises people of every generation who are working, buying, and communicating online.  Use this shared experience to unite your workforce with a common goal for your digital transformation programme  – to deliver the best experience possible to your consumers to the benefit of your business

 

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