As age demographics become more diverse in the workforce, HR professionals can focus on five areas to better manage the different age groups and be ready for the smart workforce.
Effective workforce planning: Map the age structures of teams and integrate the average age of new hires into a simulation to determine short-to-medium term workforce planning. This helps identify potential skill deficits that guides sourcing, leveraging on both the older and emerging workforce. Identifying the best position for this will be a critical HR task as harnessing the productivity of both groups is key.
Flexible work arrangements: Offer and promote a variety of work arrangements to meet customer demands as well as motivate and retain employees. These include part-time employment to attract new entrants who seek flexible work and retain experienced employees, or telecommuting to allow employees to work effectively from home.
Rewards: Customise rewards as a strategic incentive to lure talent. Typically, reward packages are performance-oriented and age-independent. Customising to be relevant to varying workforce ages will offer choice and place responsibility on employees to choose the best plan to meet their needs.
Learning and development: Deliver training and development solutions to sustain corporate performance, productivity, and employee motivation. Generations learn differently and companies should offer a range of solutions for learning preferences such as formal training, on-the-job training, and e-learning.
Corporate culture: Nurture a corporate culture that promotes diversity and knowledge management. Successful integration of different age and social groups helps combat age-specific prejudices across generations. Nurturing transfers of knowledge and experience from the exiting workforce will also guide succession planning.
Analysing workforce areas that will be affected by retirements and new entrants, then developing strategies to understand these changes and proactively managing these demographics realignment is, essentially, “smart workforce management”.