Article (March-2018)


2018 - Multilennials-1 Millennials and mature workforce form multilennials

Dr. Ganesh Shermon

Designation : -   Managing Partner for

Organization : -  KPMG LLP


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In "THE INTERN" (starring, Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro), the presence of a seasoned - mature intern is really the heart of a successful but troubled entrepreneur', solution.
In the context of an ageing population in some geographies and younger generational "employee critical mass" at other geographical locations, there are seemingly apparent contradictions to the way in which talent has to be managed. Corporate programs articulated in a US HQ may not always be relevant to a young Chinese worker in Beijing or a software programmer in Bangalore, India. In just over 10 years, approximately 75 percent of the North American workforce will be comprised of members of Generation Y & the Millennials. Yet the loss of mature talent, knowledge, seasoned wisdom, learning from past experiences, strong customer links and relationships, is often a forgotten aspect of today's organizations.  As the field of management matures, gains greater depths, into an established scientific discipline, we have actively strived to reflect, reorient, reimagine and gain a collective perspective on the state of our science by systematically synthesizing research - evidence-based actions, that is now proving the need for both mature and millennial workforce.
Karen Rehn from HH Staffing (2015) identifies, "5 Ways Companies must adapt to an Aging Workforce"
Attitudes Altered - Do you see seasoned workforce adding value to your institution? Many companies see older workers as a burden, as a cost and would often prefer to recruit younger, readier to deliver, latest skill candidates. However, it's important for you to realize exactly what these aging employees bring to the table, based on our needs and expectations. They have years of experience, been in roles in a historical context, are knowledgeable, are reliable, and could be more loyal than many younger employees, given their needs - wants. Your business practices should change to reflect this.
Agile Workforce - Aging employees who want to keep working, are keen to contribute, if not just to keep their jobs, and may require more flexible, controls, freedom, variety of roles and schedules. By allowing these individuals to work part-time, arrange alternating patterns of working styles and telecommute, and allocating more demanding tasks to younger employees, jobs in varying communities can reduce health costs associated with workplace accidents.
Focused Learning - As technology advances, older employees may find it difficult to keep up. Not all technological advances should a mature workforce need to be made familiar with. But by investing in an aging worker's future and providing them with the proper training they need to understand and use technology, your company will benefit from greater productivity and work efficiency.
Building Capability - Healthcare doesn't necessarily mean your employees will be healthier. Create wellness programs that will benefit both younger and older workers. Wellness programs can help your employees stay healthy by preventing illnesses and catching diseases early on.
Reward Mix - Many companies are afraid to hire aging workers because they fear that their experience will make them too costly, especially when they won't be taking on as much as they used to. While salary is generally based on the length of time with the company and experience, when an employee reaches retirement years, it may be best to bring performance and pay into closer conformity. This will ease corporate fears of overpaying for an aging worker's salary.
Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott recommend taking a Multistage Approach. They write, as people increasingly opt for a customized, multistage approach to their lives and careers, companies will need to rethink their personnel practices to attract the best employees. This will involve multiple changes :
Acceptance to a Changing Personality
Mature Personality is not the same thing as seasoned skills that are a goal directed behavior designed to satisfy needs, interests & aspirations. Motivation is related to personality in that while personality may represent the way we behave while motivation represents the why. 
Exactly how the underlying motives of behavior are conceptualized depends very much on the school of thought to which one belongs, for, instance, a humanist might see the motivation behind behavior as coming from a desire to achieve ones' full potential whereas a psychoanalyst might look for unconscious motivations to do with unfulfilled needs. Mature Workforce is not the same thing as all those who value and respect culture that is the values, attitudes & beliefs we share with others about the nature of the world. Mature Personality is not the same thing as ability/aptitude (usually held to be synonymous with emotional age - related intelligence) that is the ability to identify, understand & absorb the different components of a problem. 
"Large organizations (private) like to create a unique brand in attracting applicants. The decisions of applicants to which organizations to apply are also influenced by the brands of the firms. Applicants take a lot of pride in the name of the organization they are working for. Applicants would always prefer to work for brand - name organizations even if non - branded organizations pay more in salary and benefits. Indian employees always like to be associated with distinguished organizations. Thus, Indian organizations invest a lot to create compelling employee value propositions. To create a good name for themselves, organizations offer a lot in developmental, succession planning and career management opportunities. Says, Pramila Rao from Marymount University, VA, In, "HRM trends in India - Strategic HR Review - 2015" - a professional perspective.
Holistic development of the human personality, through cross functional exposure and learning is the cardinal principle on which is based the policies and procedures of an organization. The cultural trait of employee referrals (boss's child/references/contacts/ relatives/siblings/children/cousins) is predominantly used in the Indian recruiting culture. The use of recruitment consulting industry is mature; staffing is progressing well in the recruitment industry. Organizations are cognizant that positioning themselves positively to their current and potential employees is important. For instance, compensation practices such as 75 percentiles or 50 percentiles are frequently used to distinguish companies in the marketplace. The concept of life time employment is slowly changing to that of a hire-and-fire culture. However, an applicant expects that if he or she joins any organization with certain skills, he or she would like to leave with additional skills (more than what he/she came with). Thus, employees are constantly looking to join organizations that will enhance their employability as they manage their careers. Thus, organizations' learning and development opportunities focus on building "employability" for employees. But there are issues too. Career seeking millennials are sometimes reluctant to confront, ask tough questions and challenge managerial leadership. They may safeguard their stakes for a better career - just as much a mature workforce may retain their silence for job security. A mix of both driven by performance provides organizations a healthy potion of assertive professionals.

Multilennials build trust
a) Leadership through trust in self and others, self - confidence, steadiness and predictability, total personal commitment, unconventional behavior, and demonstrate common values and beliefs.
b) Will empower people and hold them accountable for performance build confidence through winning, make performance really matter, make - work fun and be coach.
c) Leadership attributes positive self - regard, optimism, inquisitiveness, action oriented, empathy, value laden and need to achieve.
d) We try to instill motivation, trust for each other and far - sightedness.
Small organizations also do everything to invest in employees and meet standard business requirements, but large organizations go a step further to create employee engagement by providing challenging projects employees can work on. This process can be defined through the dynamic interaction of several stakeholders who need each other and yet have fundamental differences as a result of differing perspectives, interests, values as well as perceptions. Conflict and congruence, co-operation and confrontation characterize the dynamics of the interactions of various stakeholders. In a democratic society it's a phenomenon in which employers and their organizations, employees and their collective associations as well as the state and its agencies interact in order to evolve procedural as well as substantive policies and instruments to regulate the employer - employee relationship, to manage contradictions which arise in their transactions and to work towards consensus among contending stakeholders. 
Large organizations support and promote high - performing employees to choose what work they would prefer to do. A number of organizations have taken different approaches to develop their employees by focusing on the profiles of their future workforces. For example, IT (information technology) companies such as Wipro, Microsoft, GE, Unilever etc., work with educational universities to tailor their academic curriculum to their needs and make students more employable. SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management), India, also works with several undergraduate colleges in tier-2 and tier-3 cities to help students develop adequate corporate skills. These initiatives help students get appropriate job placements as soon as they graduate and become quickly productive in their careers."
Establishing and revamping hiring - recruiting
In the traditional three - stage life, corporate recruitment practices are primarily geared toward recent graduates. The danger is that as careers become increasingly multistage, companies that focus exclusively on this narrow age band fail to identify other talent, such as young people who used their 20s to explore other fields; people in their 30s and 40s who managed small businesses or startups; and experienced people in their 60s and 70s who could mentor and inspire young workers. Prominent among them is Deere & Company, says the Conference Board. "The construction and agricultural equipment company has traditionally expected workers to find lifelong careers in its operations. Therefore, it actively helps employees take on new assignments. "There's no letting up because you're getting close to retirement," a company executive told researchers. The same report also highlights GlaxoSmithKline's strategy. The pharmaceutical giant has affinity groups that support its mature workers' efforts while enabling them to mentor and develop younger workers. We believe that such communication can only be facilitated when it flows upwards and after crystallization flows down wards in the form of policy. We strongly believe that the toe knows best where the shoe hurts. A first line operative doesn't need to conceptualize a machine to think of changes. He or she sees it all through the day and will always be able to give better suggestions, than anybody who has little to do with it. 
Integrate learning to this collaboration
Learning has interesting parallels with the scientific principle of entropy. The entropic principle states that matter, which is composed of molecules, will constantly seek a simpler and simpler form. In other words, things will disintegrate continually over time because they are composed of molecules that want to return to their original form. Although we are inclined to believe that technology has opened the floodgates of information, it is really a natural occurrence that has been gaining momentum for at least 800 years. Technology has only provided a vehicle for transporting the information to individuals while mature intelligence has helped in its analytics.
The same applies to the first line sales force. Any of these groups have two target audiences : mid - career and older employees, and early career employees. These groups cross - mentor, learn with mature workers guiding young professionals, who, in turn educate older employees on current technology and social networking. Although these groups have target audiences, they are open to workers of all ages, making them an effective tool for addressing multigenerational issues in the workplace."
Many of the most visible projects to reengage with mid - career candidates have emphasized mothers returning to the workforce; major companies involved in such initiatives range from Goldman Sachs to General Motors to UBS. More broadly, corporations are seeking to broaden their talent pool with mid - career hires. For example, for some years Fujitsu Ltd., the Japanese technology company, has recruited a wide range of experienced people, including actors, poets, physicians, and architects, to boost its innovative capabilities. In the traditional recruitment model, candidates with gaps in their work experience (for whatever reason) have been viewed with suspicion by corporate recruiters. But as nonlinear careers become more common, we expect people with unconventional experiences to become less unusual - and perhaps even to be viewed as a desirable resource.
The need to diversify sources of recruiting will arise not just from the emergence of multistage careers but also because of an anticipated decline in new workers entering the workforce. In the United States, for example, the number of workers aged between 16 and 24 is expected to decline by 10% in the coming decade, a time when baby boomers are moving into retirement. This will inevitably result in more competition for talent and highlight the growing demand for workers from nontraditional sources and ages.
Discover afresh - Rethinking age - related stereotypes
Chris Farrell, Next Avenue Contributor in 2016 Forbes - "Employers Are Rethinking Older Worker Stereotypes", writes, "Employers can learn from progressive companies like Bon Secours Virginia Healthcare System in Richmond, Va., Herman Miller in Zeeland, Mich., Mercy Health Systems in Janesville, Wisc. and Cinergy in Cincinnati, whose phased retirement and other programs help attract and retain older workers. The "Blue Bring Back" program of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of America lets managers request hiring retired former employees for assignments. One of them, Brooks Brothers, has a 219 - person Long Island factory, more than half of whom are over 55. Luis Nava, who manages it, said the company values older workers, especially because they make few mistakes. Look at the knowledge transfer and the inspiration to younger workforce. In return, he's willing to let them take greater control of their schedules. Also, he said, "we pair older workers with usually a younger person with technical experience. We're better off combining experience with technical expertise."
At Age Smart Employer Winner Metro Optics, an ophthalmic services company based in The Bronx, about a third of the workers are 50+. "The older employees train the younger ones," said the company's co-founder, John Bonzio. "It works the other way, too". Overall, the U.S. labor force participation rate of Americans 65 and older in 2014 was roughly 19%, up from about 12% in 1994, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Helping to make workers in their 50s, 60s and beyond more enticing to employers : economists, psychologists and gerontologists who've been documenting their benefits lately. They're demolishing shibboleths about older workers and their supposed lack of creative insight and productive contribution." 
In a three - stage life, age and stage are inextricably intertwined, and it was appropriate for corporate policies to use age as shorthand for roles and aspirations. But it is not appropriate when the model moves to multiple stages. Of all the policies we have studied, age stereotypes and attitudes regarding older workers are the area where action is needed most immediately. "While mature workers regularly leverage their knowledge on the job, there comes a point where they must pass it on to other workers. The conference board research examines capturing and extending the mature worker's expertise through mentoring programs, knowledge transfer, participation in a multigenerational workforce, and innovative phased retirement."
Too often, companies view older people as a liability rather than an asset. It's time to rethink what it means to be over 60 and how business can tap into the experience and wisdom older employees offer. The motivation for change is a simple one : longevity means people are living longer and staying healthier for longer. In addition to older individuals being healthier and fitter than previous generations, growing automation is boosting older workers' productivity. The result is that the current generation of older workers is able to be more productive than past generations, and advances in technological augmentation will boost their productivity still further. Communication is the key to the success of any business, the ability to respond and the speed of response, to the ever changing needs of an increasingly discerning customer of the global market economy, will decide between the winners and the losers.
Information, a highly perishable commodity, which is a preserve of no single individual, its dissemination to the frontiers of any business process, would be the oxygen to make the metabolism happen.
The early adopters celebrating the experience and wisdom of the over-60s are often found in the retail sector, selling to older customers, or in sectors such as engineering, where there is a dearth of younger talent. For example, at B & Q PLC, a home improvement and home gardening supply retailer based in Chandler's Ford, England, more than one quarter of the company's workforce is over 50. Among other things, the company considers older workers more experienced with do-it-yourself home projects and more empathic with homeowners. BMW AG has redesigned factory space around the needs of an older workforce. At Vita Needle Co., a manufacturer of stainless steel tubing and fabricated parts based in Needham, Massachusetts, about half of the employees are aged 75 or older.
Closing early - Redesigning retirement
Key to better utilization of older workers will be fundamental changes in retirement practices. Retirement is already being substantially transformed. In many countries, the effective retirement age is rising as more people over 70 are working. Yet while there are some signs of coordinated social change in retirement, it is still the case that most organizations deal with retirement on a case-by-case basis. As a result, many workers in their 50s have little clarity about their employer's policies regarding flexible retirement dates or flexible working after retirement from a full - time job. We think there's an opportunity to think more broadly about retirement - in particular, whether it makes sense to have a hard stop or to make the transition more gradual.
The first step will be setting expectations properly. People need to know in advance what their options will be and, if they wish to stay in full - time employment, what they have to do to make their preferred option happen. They also need to know the circumstances under which they can delay retirement and the different options that exist in terms of time (for example, hours per week), responsibilities, and salary. A corporate policy built on cherry - picking individuals the company wants to retain is unlikely to be successful over the long term, and it is likely to be limited by anti - ageism legislation.