The Benefits of Building an Age-Diverse Workforce

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imagesDoes your organization have an age-diverse workforce? If most of your workers are between the ages of 51 and 69, you have a workforce comprised primarily of baby boomers. If your personnel range mostly from ages 18 to 34, you’ve got a Generation Y (Millennial) workforce on your hands. If your employees are mainly between the ages of 35 and 50, your workforce is composed of Generation X individuals. A workforce that is primarily made up of Gen Y, Gen X or baby boomers is not bad; it’s age-diverse.

The array of benefits stemming from an age-diverse workforce is impressive. One of the key benefits of a workforce comprised of fairly equal parts Gen Y, Gen X and baby boomers is exchange of workplace skills.

Age Diversity Encourages Exchange of Skills

When it comes to skill sets, no two workers are alike. One of the most advantageous aspects of employing individuals from multiple generations is, they can share their unique skills with their peers. For example, Millennials are often great at utilizing social media for professional communication, whereas, as a general rule, Gen X and baby boomers may not be as proficient in this area. Conversely, a baby boomer will likely know how to efficiently run a meeting, though Millennials may not. A multi-generational workplace allows such skills to be exchanged and employees to be enriched by one another’s instruction.

Multi-Generational Workplaces Facilitate Mentorship

A great way for a young professional to build his or her career is to find a mentor. An age-diverse workplace is the ideal place to find a mentor in one’s respective field. In addition to helping an employee further his or her career, a mentor often unknowingly assumes the role of informal trainer. This can be incredibly helpful to employers, as it speeds the process of employee training and prepares workers for future promotions.

Roadblocks to Building an Age-Diverse Workforce

If it’s true that an age-diverse workforce is a notable asset to a company, why doesn’t every organization strive to build one? Frankly, some organizational leaders hold (and tolerate) prejudice attitudes against job candidates of certain ages. Focusing on the good things each generation of workers brings to the table is one way to overcome the prejudices that act as roadblocks to developing a healthy, thriving, diverse workforce.

Is your workforce age-diverse? If not, why? If so, did you consciously create it, or did it come together organically?

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