We don’t know if it’s down to coincidence or the sign of a new trend in business thinking but there seems to be an increasing number of articles online dealing with the way in which organisations need to adapt to cope with the millennial generation. And there is nothing wrong in that, those who have been brought up with the internet may have very different communication and research skills from those for whom the internet arrived later in life.
But to pay so much attention to new arrivals in the workplace is to ignore those generations of employees who have given great service for a number of years. For example, a recent government report reveals that there are now record numbers of 50-64 year-olds in work, with the current total of 8.2 million representing a rise of 235,000 over the past year.
To redesign the workforce solely for the millennial generation is to ignore the wealth of talent and experience which these older workers bring to the workplace. We’ve written before about the importance of diversity in the workplace and this applies to age diversity as much as it does to gender and ethnicity.
As the pensions minister, Baroness Altman, said when she was commenting on the increasing numbers of older workers “this government wants to see employers do even more to eradicate outdated misconceptions and age discrimination, so that employers realise the benefits when they retain, retrain and recruit staff who are over the age of 50.”