5 Reasons the Multigenerational Workplace Suits Everyone

Why age diversity at work is a win-win for employees and for business.

Jan 9, 2020

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The modern workplace has become more age-diverse than ever. From gen Z to baby boomers, the offices of today are filled with people of all ages working side by side and learning from each other.

This diverse new workforce means multiple ideas, new products, and a broader range of skills. It also encourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. And despite recent “OK Boomer” memes circulating the web poking fun at mature generations, this emerging age-diverse workforce offers advantages for all! Here are some of the benefits:

1. Increases the Bottom Line

Companies that strive for a multigenerational workplace not only benefit from a diverse office, but also make more money! Companies with a diverse workforce, finds a BCG study, whether that means in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, or background, enjoy greater revenues and tend to be more innovative.

In fact, businesses that make a point of hiring from different generations leverage the strengths of different age groups and enhance team building. This leads to a competitive advantage and increases the bottom line, as reported by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

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2. Greater Market Insight

Understanding the consumer allows businesses to build more successful products and effective marketing strategies. This is because employing an age-diverse workforce brings multiple perspectives to the table, yielding better insights into the marketplace and different target demographics. 

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3. Mutual Learning for All Ages

People working together from different generations can learn something from each other that they wouldn’t glean just working within the same age group. Mature workers with more life experience can pass down wisdom they’ve gained to their younger counterparts. Meanwhile, younger generations bring fresh perspectives and innovative skill sets, especially in an increasingly technological workplace. In this exchange of thoughts and ideas, everyone wins!

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4. A larger Knowledge Base

A 2013 report found largeā€scale empirical evidence on the positive effects of aging and age diversity in companies. Older generations rely on real life work experience while their juniors fall back on their academic and technological skills. 

The study concluded that having this range of experience levels and abilities brings diversity to the workplace, enabling a company to better succeed and adapt.  

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5. Valuing traditional “Soft Skills” alongside tech skillsets

A recent McKinsey study found that 40 percent of employers have difficulty filling positions because younger workers lack essential “soft skills” such as communication, teamwork, and punctuality.

Sure, the younger generation bring tech expertise gained in startup-style cutting edge work environments that give companies a competitive advantage, as research from Deloitte shows. But having grown up with social media and fast-paced digital communications over the screen, they fall short when it comes to dealing with others and protocol. 

Mature members of the workforce, on the other hand, understand traditional business skills, essential to the success of any company. Older generations will likely have greater competence when it comes to things like negotiation tactics, how to nurture prospective customers, and even general interpersonal skills that you just don’t learn from behind a screen!

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.