creating a cohesive organizational culture

March 25, 2016 0 comments

In an era of unpredictable market and organizational changes, it is important that every company creates a culture where talent can thrive. At present, nearly two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people are under 35 years of age, and half under 25. By 2030, it is projected that India will have the largest and the youngest workforce. However, creating such a culture is a huge task since today’s workforce mostly comprises multiple generations working alongside—there are four generations working together—pre-Boomers (born 1925-1945), Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), Generation X (born 1965-1976) and the Millennials (born 1977-1994).

effective management of multigenerational workforce

634-2Every generation comes with its own set of skills, talent, knowledge, and most importantly experience. The key while working with multigenerations is keeping all the generations weaved in and creating a harmonious working atmosphere. Everyone has unique values, attitudes and behavior, communication styles/platforms, approach, mindsets, priorities, expectations, and goals. Having all four generations in an organization is great, but it also brings in a lot of responsibility for HR teams. To successfully meet the business objectives, it is highly imperative for HR managers to manage all the groups well and get the best out of each of them. Some of the team engagement/building initiatives that can help all generations work cohesively are:

  • Induction of all the various features an individual from each generation would carry
  • Identifying the strengths of employees from every generation and creating teams accordingly, so that efforts are complemented
  • Sharing experiences of multigenerational employees to unlearn and relearn
  • Managers to respect and address the advantages and disadvantages of having a multigenerational workforce in their teams

The saying, one size does not fit all, stands true in case of any organization. This essentially means that new-age HR managers working with a multigenerational workforce should be aware of the difference of opinions, working cultures, and communication styles, and has to handle it in a matured manner. To boost employee productivity and overall company growth, HR managers should interact with employees, take feedback, and involve them in decision-making processes. Also, employees at all levels should meet periodically to give inputs on HR policies, discuss their expectations, and share their views. Generation gaps should not become a hurdle; rather, the experience of senior employees should be harnessed in the most productive ways to help achieve results. Talent acquisition teams should work towards providing the right kind of learning and development programs.

Here are some examples of how this translates into organization initiatives and behavior:

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Having a multigenerational workforce is leading to increased employee engagement, where the energy and passion of employees need to be channelized in the right direction. This kind of workforce seeks a challenging career and is hungry for success. For companies like us, it is important to strive hard to provide a platform which is an exciting place for technology professionals because it provides an opportunity to create products and services by leveraging competencies across verticals—healthcare, consumer lifestyle, and lighting—all under one roof!

behavorial and structural changes

Another facet of this kind of organizational culture is leadership participation, which is critical for driving new-age initiatives that offer flexibility and everyday learning opportunities to Millennials. One such initiative which we have taken is organizing coaching sessions for the leaders on increasing their social media quotient. We constantly try to bridge the gap between senior leaders and young hires by using technology (social cast) effectively. Our entire management team tweets regularly and blogs too.

Not only behavioral but structural change also helps in bringing the multigenerational workforce together. The office layout should encourage collaboration and create fewer silos. Various business groups who sit under the same roof in an open office setup tend to create opportunities to team up across diverse teams. Also, cross BUs sitting together with different generation colleagues creates a valuable learning platform.

eliminating communications hierarchy

There should be an open-door culture where employees can walk to any senior and have a conversation. There should not be any barriers amongst employees based on their age, seniority, or position/designation. In fact, HR managers should encourage employees to mingle with everyone and create an amicable workplace. The most recent trend in eliminating communications hierarchy has been set up by Indian startups. The definition of traditional office spaces and work culture is changing with the boom of startups in India. Millennials have redefined ways of working, meeting objectives, and achieving unthinkable goals in a short period of time. Today, many experienced corporates are mentoring startups and during this process they unwind themselves from the seriousness of their daily job responsibilities, unlearn their medieval and traditional ways of working, and get introduced to modern-day working professionals.

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