Skip to content

Multi-generational Engagement Challenges Addressed


Depending on the size of your business, you might work with people who range from Millennials to Baby Boomers. This presents certain engagement challenges because you have to find ways for multi-generational staff members to communicate effectively for the benefit of the business. An employee mobile app can help.

Resolve Employment Dissatisfaction and Frustration

Did you know that 50 percent of American workers report feeling dissatisfied with their jobs? Dissatisfaction occurs for many different reasons, but poor workplace camaraderie often factors into the equation. In a multi-generational workforce, staff members often struggle not only to communicate, but to understand each other’s values, beliefs, and work habits.

Encouraging employees to share their stories on an employee mobile app can help. Allow workers to display their personalities, ask and answer questions, and voice opinions in a self-contained environment. Instead of expressing themselves on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they can share their thoughts internally.

Employee mobile apps create a social platform of their own, allowing a multi-generational workforce to find new ways to work together. If a Baby Boomer understands the struggles that a Millennial faces, he or she might find it significantly easier to work with Millennials effectively.

Furthermore, worker satisfaction will likely increase. People prefer to work in environments where they feel not only safe and appreciated, but also connected to their fellow colleagues. Instead of going to work in a place where they feel ostracized or frustrated, they look forward to seeing people they like and respect.

Frustrations can also get in the way of a healthy workforce. You might still have some employees leftover from the Greatest Generation (also called the Traditionalists). These professionals are often set in their ways, hard workers, and prone to frustration with younger professionals.

By sharing stories, older professionals can get in the habit of using technology to express themselves, and younger generations can get an intimate understanding of how their older counterparts process information and resolve problems. In this way, multi-generational employees can learn from one another. Frustration diminishes and teamwork becomes far more commonplace.

In addition to sharing stories, employee mobile apps also allow workers to communicate one-on-one. Instant messaging provides workers with a two-way door to every other member of the team. Encouraging workers from different generations to communicate freely can foster rapport and compassion.

Each generation can learn from the others:

  • The Greatest Generation can teach younger workers about the value of hard work, devotion, loyalty, and frugality.
  • The Silents can teach other generations about sharing and adopting values, remaining loyal to the company, and keeping up with news and the latest trends.
  • Baby Boomers can teach their colleagues about embracing teamwork, accepting and working with authority figures, the value of activism, and the benefits of working longer.
  • Generation Xers can help their co-workers protect their personal rights, develop a tolerance for everyone on the team, and become more self-reliant.
  • Millennials can teach older generations about embracing technology, finding faster ways to accomplish old tasks, and maintaining organization and structure.

Obviously, each individual worker will have his or her own personal strengths and weaknesses, but sometimes the power of a generation can become an asset for a business.

Set an Example for All Employees

Leadership plays a big role in creating a healthy, happy workforce, especially when that workforce is made up of multiple generations. If you want your employees to adopt new technology, such as employee mobile apps, you must set a good example that they can follow.

Start by sharing important information about the company. Transparency has become an important value for nearly all generations, so it is something that they share and over which they can bond.

For instance, if there is a problem in a specific department, you can explain what happened and allow employees to respond based on their own personal perspectives, opinions, and concerns. Creating a free-flowing culture of ideas and information can make a workforce stronger.

You might notice a theme here. The best organizations foster and encourage communications, especially when dealing with a multi-generational workforce. If colleagues cannot confide in one another, and if leaders do not feel comfortable sharing with their subordinates, the entire team can break down.

The company news section of your employee mobile app, for instance, can be used to share important messaging about the brand’s values and belief system. This can unite multi-generational workers under one shared umbrella, which might make them feel more connected.

You can also share streaming videos or host live-streaming events, which can connect employees who might work in different locations, but who perform similar functions for the company. Share links to important documents, encourage employees to respond with their feedback and invite people from different generations to collaborate on projects.

Provide Tangible Rewards

A reward system works for people of all ages. It starts when children are small and they receive treats for good behavior. This system continues throughout life. A job can be considered a reward system; in exchange for one’s time, expertise, and skills, he or she receives money.

Other reward systems can work just as well, and you can manage them within an employee mobile app. For instance, you can encourage your employees to train and learn new skills. Each time they do so, they might win points or badges, which can serve as their own reward.

However, you might take it a step further and allow workers to earn more tangible rewards, such as free gifts, gift certificates, products, and more.

The challenge is in finding the right rewards for the right workers.

For instance, older generations might feel more rewarded by cash incentives. As they near retirement age, they are building their nest eggs and preparing their families for long-term financial security. Meanwhile, younger generations might appreciate more PTO, the chance to work from home, flexible hours, and other rewards that improve work-life balance.

You might use your employee mobile app to send out surveys. Ask your employees what rewards would motivate them to work harder, study more, and devote themselves more fully to the organization. Instead of assuming what they want, get the information directly from the employees’ mouths.

Create a Social Environment

While sharing stories, company news and surveys can help a multi-generational workforce become more engaged and instant messaging can foster relationships between individual team members, a broader social platform might improve engagement even further. Employee mobile apps come with social features that mimic those of public social platforms.

For instance, employees can share tips and advice, like and comment on each other’s posts, take photographs and post them for everyone to see, and even host live-streaming events.

Social networks are designed to bring people closer together even when they are not geographically together. Outside the workplace, they let families and friends stay in touch regardless of their schedules, and in the workplace, they let employees feel less stressed and more open while they do their jobs.

It is true that you do not want your employees to spend all day pretending they are playing on Facebook. You must establish rules for using employee mobile apps effectively. However, if you set a good example as a leader, you will encourage your multi-generational workforce to use the mobile social app for developing a more well-rounded, healthy workplace.

Additionally, you create a workforce of brand advocates who feel strongly about your organization. They know that they can trust you to remain transparent with them and to respect their ability to do their jobs while still participating in social exchanges.

Gamify Learning

The younger generations are intimately familiar with the concept of gamification. Many of them play games during their leisure time, often online and on gaming consoles, so gamifying certain activities in your employee mobile app can become a natural extension of employee education and learning.

Additionally, younger generations can help encourage older generations to embrace gamification. While some of the older generations might at first feel resistant to the process, they can experience the thrill of completing quizzes and other challenges that help them earn points, establish status, and gain bragging rights.

Gamification is not the same thing as gaming. It is a way of restructuring content such as training with game mechanics involved. Employees work through different levels to collect rewards, and they get the intrinsic sense of accomplishment that comes with “winning” a game.

It also fosters competition, which can be healthy in a multi-generational workforce. Instead of pitting employees against one another, you are encouraging them to motivate one another. This can be a powerful tool in any leader’s arsenal.

HubEngage believes that employee engagement is critical for every organization’s success. A multi-generational workforce is not an obstacle to overcome, but an asset to be leveraged. You can reap the benefits that people of each generation bring to the table.

However, that does not mean that you will not encounter challenges. You might just need a few tools to help you bring people of different ages closer together. That is how we can help. Try the HubEngage app for free today and learn all the benefits that come with having an employee mobile app well suited to a multi-generational workforce at your disposal.

Get Insights

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get more tips on effective employee engagement and communications!

Join Our Community

Join Turn On Engagement (TOE) to interact with other employee engagement and people experience professionals. Share and get new ideas!

Other posts you might enjoy

Back To Top