Employee Engagement Through Different Generations

by Jody Ordioni

Employee Engagement Through Different Generations

The increasing diversity in the workplace has given rise to a new concern, with regards to different generations of employees and engaging them. Millennials are often, unrightfully, sullied with the label of being misfits in the workforce or actively trying to go against established norms. Managers, who usually belong to a generation known as the Baby Boomers, are disturbed by the fact that new employees do not follow the same pattern of work as them.

However, this is not a problem particular to this generation. This tug of war between a generation and its succeeding one has been there since the beginning of time. Each generation labels the succeeding one as radical, though always with a negative undercurrent. The benefit of employee engagement strategies, however, is that generations do not matter. Every employee is unique and thus requires a new approach in engagement.

Tip One: Each Employee is an Individual

External environment and stimulus might impact the temporary reactions and viewpoints of the employees. Yet, it does not imply that their internal motivators would be so easily disturbed. The motivation to finish a job comes through years of experience, personality development, and childhood habits.

If you are in leadership roles, then it is your responsibility to know your employees individually. Asking questions and carefully listening to your employees can reveal their personal motivators, which is essential to getting any job done. It is imperative to know what makes one productive at work or energizes them to complete a task. The answer to such questions is the gateway to strategizing engagement for employees.

Tip Two: Meaningful Connections are Essential to Employees

No one wants their job to just be limited to punching in and out at work. Human beings, by nature, need to socialize. Positive relationships with colleagues and managers form the basis of any successful company, while also motivating employees to engage with each other.

Regardless of your position within the company, you can successfully form meaningful connections with other people around you. It can be exciting to connect with other staff members and managers. Understanding what motivates them and providing innovative solutions to unique problems of the employees is also a great way to create meaningful bonds with co-workers.

Little actions go a long way, such as stopping by someone’s cubicle if you know they are having a hard time and lending an ear. When holding focus groups dedicate time to listening to the employees, it can foster greater understanding. Each generation can appreciate the connection, thereby increasing employee engagement.

Tip Three: Paying Attention to Everyone

Paying attention to what the employees are saying can provide an insight into the trends that are on the rise within the workforce. Pay attention to what excites the employees, what are they complaining about, what do they say in exit and stay interviews, what are their concerns and similar sort of information.

Collecting this data and analyzing these trends are also a great way to understand the expectations of each generation from the company. Disparities within each generation of the workforce can be resolved and their motivation factors are easily gauged through such data. Though motivation is an intrinsic quality, there are external blockades that can hinder it and thereby delay productivity.

Increasing the motivation of employees and establishing shared responsibility can increase engagement within the organization and can be accomplished easily. The key is to keep everyone happy without hampering the productivity. Paying attention and tuning yourself to observe what is happening in the workplace, allows you to establish a positive culture at the workplace.

The Bottom Line

Employee engagement is a deciding factor in any company’s success. It also encompasses fields such as retention, productivity, turnover rate and more. Top talent can only be retained if companies are willing to engage them meaningfully. While materialistic benefits might sustain employees for short periods of time, a deeper engagement is required for a deeper understanding.

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