Managing a workforce that spans four generations is a tremendous challenge. Simply looking at age demographic trends and tendencies will not give you the most accurate picture. It takes a more in-depth look at each individual. It requires you to actually invest time and build relationships with your employees. As well, it requires flexibility, multiple approaches, and a resistance to fix everything with a "one size fits all” process or activity.
In my 30+ year corporate career and more than 225 consulting projects worldwide, I’ve found tremendous amounts of time, energy, and resources focused on ‘differences’ versus ‘common wants and needs’. Here are 10 ‘needs’ I believe ALL employees want in the workplace. I believe these transcend across borders, ages, ethnicities, education levels, household composition, etc.
- Affiliation – being part of a winning and successful organization
- Affirmation – told what they are doing well
- Achievement – pride in accomplishing something that really matters
- Camaraderie – genuine not artificial
- Ethical/Values-based – not compromised when tough decisions and choices must be made
- Equity – sense of fairness in procedural, distributive, and interpersonal activities
- Informed – on what’s going on and how it could impact them
- Personal Development – to thrive, not just survive
- Safe Place to Work – physically and emotionally
- Valued – feeling appreciated and not taken for granted
The British author, Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote Sherlock Holmes stories said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” How well is your organization consistently meeting these 10 obvious needs?