Different generations in the workplace

8 min read

The generation gap in the workplace – a chance for development and a major challenge for the employer


Finding and attracting talent is a major challenge for recruiters at an organization. HR specialist increasingly frequently need to form teams including both newcomers and more experienced employees. Youthful imagination combined with prudence and experience can unleash additional potential in a company. The IT sector serves as an example.

Cooperation between representatives of various generations is going to be one of the major challenges for HR departments of companies in the coming years. This is all caused by the omnipresent digital transformation that makes representatives of various generations perceive the selection of an employer and their own duties in entirely different ways. According to PwC, 69% of companies in Central-Eastern Europe are undergoing a change in the strategy of their HR departments, one which aims at improving the effectiveness of attracting talent to the organization. The IT sector is one of the fields where integration of various age groups is already being observed.

The digital transformation requires that employees acquire new skills and broaden their qualifications. An exchange of experience is extremely helpful here. The younger generation frequently expects their older colleagues to assist them and provide them with knowledge that allows for broadening their competences. Moreover, anyone can contribute to a project in a way that can make it successful.

Katarzyna Szydłowska

Director, Business HR

A multi-generational structure as a chance for an organization's development

Employing individuals from various age groups makes up a perfect mixture of interests, personalities and skills, which enhances the chance of a company's dynamic development. The power of a multi-generational team lies in open communication and constructive dialogue. On the other hand, the traditional "master-student" division is increasingly frequently being abandoned.

It is important that generational diversity is perceived as a chance for increased creativity and effectiveness of the entire project team's work. The advantages of this approach include a better working environment and building up trust in the team. When team members know they understand and can rely on each other, the team is able to deliver better and better projects. This, in turn, translates into meeting ambitious goals and a favourable image of the company on the market. 

The employer's non-standard actions and effective organisation can turn out to be the key to success. Sometimes the simplest ideas such as cyclically organised integration meetings might contribute to a good working ambience that drives cooperation. Our experience shows that all generations are ready to enter into dialogue with each other. More experienced employees are ready to share their knowledge with younger ones. At the same time, the young employees obtain a lot of freedom in their work, which improves their sense of responsibility to the rest of the team.

Katarzyna Szydłowska.

Youth and experience - an explosive mixture

Contrary to first impressions, both young and experienced employees have a lot in common and similar expectations of an employer. The aforementioned working ambience, an opportunity to learn from others, the time necessary to adapt to new situations, flexibility of working time - all of these are factors that make an employee feel they are necessary and valued by their company.

Cooperation with the older generation gives me the opportunity of practical and theoretical learning from individuals who have experience in many projects. Such employees are ready to help the new ones, which makes adaptation easier and makes development of new products much more pleasant.

Adam Książek

Junior QA Engineer

Younger generations are no longer "imitators" and passive learners. This is obvious to managers, too. They increasingly frequently give their employees freedom in creativity and decision-making, which changes their approach to their duties and sense of responsibility for their tasks. Everything starts at the stage of recruitment.

How can IT companies recruit employees from various generations? 

The recruitment market has been changing dynamically over recent months. What we observe currently is an "employee’s market". This is influenced by the increasing GDP, decreasing unemployment, increasing salaries, and demand for employees. HR departments must therefore look for new ways of reaching potential employees. This also applies to IT companies.

Selecting an appropriate candidate in the IT sector requires optimising activity in social media. Advertisements on employment websites are becoming less effective, in particular in recruitment of young employees. What matters today is announcements profiled for specific age groups and non-standard campaigns.

Katarzyna Szydłowska

It is also important to remember that all the transmitted values and targets set for future employees should be adapted to every generation - only the channel through which they are transmitted may change. The number of challenges that companies face with respect to the generation gap at the workplace is going to increase. Therefore, developing an appropriate form of communication and cooperation in a team might turn out to be of key importance to the success of an organisation.

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