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Multigenerational workforce creates management challenges for companies

An aging workforce can create a number of challenges for companies, including the increased risk that knowledge and experience will be lost when employees retire.

An aging workforce can create a number of challenges for companies, including the increased risk that knowledge and experience will be lost when employees retire. This is a concern for many organizations employing a large number of baby boomers.

Baby boomers are reaching the retirement age, and many companies do not have the programs in place to effectively pass their skills to the next generation of workers. This is causing a drop in company loyalty, according to SHL, a global talent consulting firm.

"Sustaining career progression is the singular challenge facing organizations today," explained Eugene Burke, chief science and analytics officer for SHL. "Companies need to develop a plan to energize and retain talent that takes into account the diverse interests of varied generational groups in today's workforce – boomers, Gen Xers and millennials."

Burke added, "It is critical that managers, despite the affinity towards their own generational group, identify and fully understand the differences between the age groups within the context of their workplace."

Using reward programs to manage talent
Employee reward and recognition programs work well for engaging workers of all ages if they are properly managed. Burke stated that younger workers have a tendency to pursue more leadership opportunities than members of older generations. Establishing incentives to encourage employees to take on new challenges and deliver results could build the company loyalty that will help them overcome the talent gap created by the retirement of baby boomers.

Reward programs can be adjusted to fit the needs of any workforce, but they require careful management and consideration for how the decisions will affect all generations. What rewards are awarded can often be a difficult decision, as younger workers tend to value technology and devices more than older workers. Allowing staff members to select from a range of merchandise can keep all generations motivated. This solution saves the company money, as items are not purchased until they are earned, while also maximizing the return on investment by ensuring everyone gets something they want.

Effective employee incentive programs can help organizations recruit top talent as well. Engaging workers creates an environment that appeals to job seekers, allowing businesses to fill vacancies easier. This could be essential in the coming year, as a recent survey revealed that more global employers are looking to hire in the second quarter. Increased competition for professionals raises the importance of a strong corporate culture to attract applicants.

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