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KUALA LUMPUR, 25 April 2022 – Today’s work landscape is becoming more diverse than ever in many ways, particularly as more than five generations of workers are making up today’s workforce.

Each generation has their own unique view of what work should be, and the generational gap can make employee engagement a tricky matter.

“Employee engagement is an ongoing process and there is no one size fits all approach. However, with a successful employee engagement programme, your multi-generational workforce will prove to be an extremely valuable asset to your business.

“In addition to offering a variety of perspectives and skills, they can also ease the company’s path to success,” says Ms Melissa Norman, Founder and Managing Director of Aisling Group, a home-grown Malaysian talent solutions company.

Building a fluid and agile work culture

According to the Deloitte Millennial and Gen Z Survey 2021, the majority of the Malaysian workforce is now Millennials (born 1981–1994) and Generation Z (born 1995); previously dominated by Generation X (born 1966–1980) and Baby Boomers (1946–1965).

Each of this generation has stereotypical personality traits that are associated with their work ethics, outlooks in life, and values.

However, a good engagement programme should not just be built around the stereotypical demands of just one or two generations, as company culture should run deeper than that.

Interacting with a multigenerational workforce takes effort, but it is not impossible. Ms Norman says, “Whatever your goals are for employee engagement programmes, it is always a good idea to start by identifying the differences between your employers.

“No two people are the same, and this also applies to generational differences. Understanding their values and what drives them is key to ensuring successful employee engagement.”

“You should also identify what resonates most with each generation and how to deliver your message in a way that employees can accept. Even when conveying the same message, the way it is conveyed to a younger audience is different compared to an older audience,” she adds.

Intergenerational workforce

The most valuable asset that an intergenerational workforce brings is their differences in values. This translates into how they solve problems and find solutions, and an intergenerational mentoring programme can also make it easier to share knowledge and bridge the gap between generations.

In the end, it is important to remember that employees, regardless of their age, are looking for job satisfaction. Employers and human resources must provide them with resources, strategies, and an environment that empowers them, creating a safe space for employees from different demographics to thrive.

For more information on how organisations and individuals can bolster their capability in areas surrounding skill building, leadership, and culture, please visit here.

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