In the United States, it's already a hot topic; generational diversity, multi-generational workforces or generation integration and, more specifically, the impact of Generation Y (born between 1980 - 2000) entering the workforce. Most US organisations have started to implement a strategy to manage a multi-generational workforce and, in addition, acknowledge that Gen Y has many hidden talents organisations might use to their advantage.
However, the picture we see in the UK is quite different; Gen Y will comprise more than 40% of the UK workforce in 2015 - far outnumbering any other generation, while many Babyboomers will have left organisations, taking a wealth of knowledge with them. The workforce statistics confirm this view (for a visual presentation, see www.exceleratetalent.com/blog/18 ). I have yet to find organisations that are actively planning on this shift in the workforce, despite the fact that it is already affecting the UK.
In addition, most companies agree with many of the negative features Gen Y has been stereotyped with - laziness, arrogance, no commitment, or loyalty. They do not yet see the value in creating an environment in which Gen Y truly flourishes and outperforms. I specifically say 'yet' as my prediction would be that, in 3 years' time organisations will be forced to adapt as they will face various difficulties, to name just a few:
In summary, what does this mean for organisations?
One may wonder why the topic 'generational diversity' is becoming a problem now. This is partly because of the sheer volume of generation Y entering the workforce while many Babyboomers will retire, and partly because there are fewer people with several years' working experience (35-44yrs) to cope with these two major changes. The consequences of not acting on these demographic trends can be a severe threat for the existence of any organisation.
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