Generational differences are a daily part of life in large organizations, where people with several decades of experience and new labor market entrants work as a team. Today, most managerial positions are entrusted to people born between 1965–1979, members of the so-called Generation X. It is becoming more common, however, to have a younger person leading a team with more experienced members.
Moreover, members of Generation Z (born after 1995) are now entering the workforce alongside colleagues from Generation X and Generation Y (born between 1980 – 1995). Therefore, when building intergenerational teams, it is increasingly important to design good recruitment processes that address the needs of both employers and employees, manage talent effectively, and incorporate soft HR practices.
Traditional recruitment processes typically do not address the wide variety of different requirements and expectations found among people of various ages on today’s labor market. Today, therefore, an effective HR specialist constantly strives to present the benefits of joining a company in a way that resonates with candidates from multiple generations.
“The fastest way to reach Generation X candidates is through a referral program or through job posts. Job posts should be as precise as possible and include information such as the type of employment contract, insurance options, and extra benefits. On the other hand, Generation Y candidates are more active in social media. They are looking for work that is in line with their educational backgrounds and personal passions. They like to be appreciated and inspired, for example by incentive awards and positive feedback from managers,” emphasizes Izabela Przyborowska, Human Resources Specialist at AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG.
Generation X members tend to look for stable, relative predictable jobs that allow them to balance their personal and professional lives. Generation Y members, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible and open to changes and new learning opportunities. As opposed to their older counterparts, they tend to focus more on their own priorities, requirements, and opportunities. They want to distinguish themselves through their work and view a job as a way to grow personally.
“Taking into account the needs of our team members from multiple generations, we have launched the AsstrA Business Accelerator. This is a program that allows individuals to prove themselves in their new roles at AsstrA. We engage people willing to pursue projects that are not directly related to their day-to-day responsibilities. If the entire process is successful, the individual takes on responsibility for managing the new project, – notes Aleksandra Pakush, Director of Human Resources at AsstrA. – This initiative is particularly appreciated by people who want to have a real impact on their own career path and build the competencies they are focused on. They can pursue self-education in the right field, in the right place, and at the right time. This improves efficiency and supports the AsstrA Group’s continuous and sustainable development.”
For an intergenerational group to function efficiently, it is very important for its leaders to build trust with their teams through dialogues based on coaching, feedback, and honesty. Such dialogues improve communication and allow goals and strategies to be better understood. When the organization’s business priorities are understood, team members of all ages can best commit to aligning with these priorities, achieving them efficiently, and making a company successful.