Embracing Generational Diversity in Your Workforce

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2020 | Employment Law

Workplaces are more dynamic than ever before. People work remotely, have flexible schedules, and value different elements of a job beyond pay. As such, many Minnesota employers must think carefully about how they plan to meet the needs of their workers.

This can be difficult, particularly when the workforce is generationally diverse. In many companies, 25-year-olds are working right alongside a 60- or 70-year-old. This can create tension and lead to disputes involving employees, but there are ways for employers to address these challenges.

Think outside the box

Keeping your employees happy and productive can simply require using non-traditional approaches.

For instance, as this New York Times article discusses, some companies are hiring Generational Consultants. These consultants help business owners understand the working habits and expectations of workers of different ages.

Review and revise your workplace policies

Reviewing your workplace policies can ensure that they continue to protect both the business and the employees. This assessment can also give you an opportunity to make changes to address an increasingly diverse workforce.

For instance, as you hire younger workers, you might consider updating your approaches to training, promotions, work schedule and acceptable workplace conduct.

Be mindful of age-related discrimination and harassment

Because there is such a wide range of ages in many businesses, it may not be surprising that disagreements can arise. Older workers can feel excluded; younger workers can feel harassed or bullied by more experienced workers.

Employers must take every claim of harassment or discrimination seriously. Responses should include diligent investigation, swift action and appropriate remedies. It is also crucial for employers to set and enforce strict policies against harassment and discrimination.

Use the diversity to your advantage

Having a wide range of different ages in your workforce can be advantageous.

Generationally diverse businesses can attract workers of every age. They can also produce more interesting solutions, as workers can offer both experienced and innovative perspectives.

Businesses that embrace diversity can find that they are doing more than creating an inclusive environment; they are also promoting employee satisfaction and reducing the potential for serious employment disputes.