The world of work is something that is ever changing. One major shift we are starting to notice is that with an ageing population comes more multi-generational workforces. Being one of the youngest employees at Hemlow myself, it has been interesting for me to witness over the past year how a multi-generational workforce unites, and both the challenges and benefits brought by this.
By 2020, it is estimated that nearly a third of the workforce will be over 50. This does bring with it many positive factors; older employees bring valuable experience, as well as loyalty, and stability.
However, I am aware that a lot of older generation employees are used to the traditional methods of working, and are being pushed aside by a younger generation of workers with an increasing knowledge of today’s technology.
Following a fast transition into an era of rapidly developing technology, it is sometimes assumed that everyone has kept up with the trend and is adapting accordingly. The Internet of Things (IoT) is being progressively implemented more, and the maintenance industry in particular is becoming highly technology-driven. Due to this, a knowledge gap is being created amongst generations.
New types of equipment require new skills, and without the right knowledge, employees will ultimately fall behind in the world of work.
Being a member of Generation Z, I can confidently say that this age of new technology is a world in which young people have grown up within, and so these new methods of working are all that we have ever known, making most already accustomed to this. However, workers of an older generation who are used to more traditional processes have had to endure more of a learning curve when it comes to new technology.
In order to overcome this, it is essential to manage change effectively, keep everybody informed and educated and help all employees to adopt new ways of working. This involves implementing effective training so that everyone has a chance to understand the new changes.
To be successful in this area, companies must find a balance. Younger engineers who may have a more digitally focused mind are more likely to be attracted and recruited into a company, based on their values and who use more modern technologies. However, it is important that this does not become the core focus and longer standing employees and their values and beliefs are not disregarded when marketing the brand.
During my time at Hemlow I have observed this being managed through effective training programmes for all employees. In the past few years the company has been through a rapid period of growth, during which they invested in new technology as well as undertaking a successful IT migration. This investment has allowed us to become more efficient and provide our clients with a better and more tailored service. Throughout this, the company ensured that their focus remained on training and upskilling all employees, in order to effectively manage this change. I enjoy being part of a company who believe in creating a corporate culture that provides inclusion for all generations, and have witnessed the benefits first hand.
In the M&E industry I believe that we will continue to see a growth in multi-generational workforces. If managed effectively this will provide organisations with huge benefits, as united they will bring a range of talent and skills to this growing sector.
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