Blessing and Curse of Multi-Generation Business

A new survey suggests East Anglian company owners feel more diverse age groups in their workforce can present conflict.

Research commissioned by consulting firm RSM says businesses see the value of differing skillsets and knowledge across a multi-generational workforce, but also see it poses tensions.

The analysis found that seven in ten (72 per cent) firms said that an age diverse workforce helped the company to have a more comprehensive skillset and knowledge base. Almost eight in ten (77 per cent) felt that a multi-generational workforce brought contrasting views to their organisation.

However, four in ten companies (38 per cent) said that a multi-generational workforce also increased the risk of conflict in the workplace.

Interestingly, the survey also found that managers tend to find managing their own generations easier than managing others. This was true for baby boomers, millennials and generation-X respondents.

Emily Robinson, a senior consultant from RSM HR said: ‘Having five generations under one roof doesn’t have to create friction or management headaches. As our survey found, many organisations value the diversity of opinions, experience and knowledge that a multi-generational workforce can bring. But taking advantage of those benefits will depend on the ability of organisations to create a culture where everyone feels heard, valued and understood.’

RSM has published a new report ‘New Forces at Work’ which advises employers to consider new approaches to people management and incentivisation.


About the Author:

Deborah Watson is an award winning journalist and PR professional whose career has been spent storytelling about the people, the passion and the personalities behind businesses and causes. She's the founder of Lexia Media Ltd (a boutique PR consultancy), the creator of EA-Today, and of Charity Hub East. Deborah actively encourages contact from those seeking PR support, media relations strategy, CSR partnership planning, and communication consultancy. She is a director on the board of Home-Start in Suffolk.