One + one equals three - Why intergenerational work forces work
Tony deftly outlines the advantages of intergenerational workforces at the same time as he explains the reasons why success will be difficult. That said, he is adamant that every industry, has every reason, to make it work. The short-term future skills gap underscores why retention, retraining and recruiting of older workers is critical. By 2022, there will be an anticipated shortfall of 7.5 million workers. Tony sees the application of flexible adaptive thinking and the power of collective wisdom inside intergen work groups as the key drivers of increased productivity and improved customer relations that has already been documented.
Tony uses a combination of the Age in the Workplace research report from BITC (Business in the Community) along with pithy, anecdotal evidence to illustrate why the age segmented, hierarchical approach to workforce composition has lost its relevance and needs a major overhaul.
Crucially, some of the biggest obstacles to an intergenerational work groups success have come from the older people themselves. Designing a future work force therefore demands the involvement of all stakeholders along with increased dialogue between the generations to create opportunities for skill sharing and swapping. Given that older workers are perceived as being more even tempered and better communicators than their younger counterparts, tapping into this rich talent seam, without turning the young people off, should be attainable.
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