The Challenges of Scheduling a Multi-Generation Workforce
The Challenges of Scheduling a Multi-Generation Workforce

The Challenges of Scheduling a Multi-Generation Workforce

For the first time in history, there are now five generations working side-by-side. Generation Z (born after 1997) is leaving college and entering the workforce and Traditionalists (born before 1946) are still contributing. This broad range of experiences is great for a dynamism and getting a different perspective but can create challenges for managers.

Managing a multi-generational workforce requires understanding the needs and working styles of employees born over fifty years apart. Over the past five decades technology has revolutionized the way we work, but that’s not all that’s changed—so have values. Different generations have different expectations about things like feedback and career development but will likely also differ when it comes to more fundamental questions about acceptable work life balance.

Generational Challenges

Generational issues can pop up in any aspect of management, from office design to communication style. But let’s consider something basic—scheduling a multi-generational workforce. Those of different generations may have different preferences regarding when they work, how they are informed of their schedules, and how much flexibility they expect.

Designing a staff scheduling process that helps both a technology-resistant Traditionalist and a smartphone-addicted Gen Z intern feel comfortable isn’t easy, but incorporating five generations into the workforce often means coming up with creative compromises. The good news is, staff scheduling software can help.

Avoiding Communication Breakdown

The right software helps make the process quicker, more efficient, and error-free—but creating schedules is just the first step. The bigger issue is how best to communicate the schedule to your multi-generational workforce. The thing is, different generations are used to receiving information in different ways.

The old-fashioned approach might be to print it out and pin it on the wall. While this might appeal to the technology averse, to the ‘snapchat generation’ it may well seem like something from the middle ages —they’d have a point, since this if there’s a late change to the schedule, it has to be communicated through some other method anyway.

Phone calls are also a non-starter—no matter the size of your staff, it’s just inefficient. So we’re left with email, SMS or smartphone notification. The best answer: use all three methods. With staff scheduling software employees can choose their preferred communication style to receive their schedules. There’s a solution for those who don’t own smartphones, for those who consider emails outdated, and for everyone in between. (Of course, printing out physical schedules is still an option.)

The Power of Shift Reminders

Some stereotypes are true—older generations tend to be more punctual. In fact, Boomers are a whopping 50% more likely to never be late for work than Millennials, according to YouGov polling. However, tardiness among young employees isn’t necessarily cause for concern. Paycor research shows that shift reminders can reduce no shows and cut lateness by 14%.

The key is, with staff scheduling software you (or employees themselves) can choose who receives reminders and how often. Traditionalists and Boomers—and, hey, even Gen X—may consider themselves self-starters who don’t need to be bombarded with alerts before their shift starts. Younger staff who rely on their phones to tell them where to be and when can choose to receive as many shift reminders as they need.

Offering Flexibility

The world of work is changing—and opinions are changing with it. Gen Y and Z are the gig economy generations, brought up in a world of constant connection, where work can take place anywhere, any time. So, it’s no surprise that younger employees have high expectations when it comes to workplace flexibility and work life balance. They tend to value these more highly than even job security, according to YouGov polling.

How does this affect staff scheduling? It means that while older generations may be content with receiving a schedule without complaint, employees from Gen X and Y expect to have more say. Not long ago, catering to the needs of everyone might’ve been a challenge—now, staff scheduling software can help. The key is the ability to offer a parallel solution: schedulers can create open shifts which employees can select from and allow for easy shift swapping for those who seek more flexibility—but any staff who consider this (or technology generally) too much hassle can simply be assigned shifts. This way, you empower employees with as much flexibility as they want, without forcing it upon them.

Bottom Line

Scheduling employees is just one of the challenges of managing a multi-generational workforce—but it’s essential to get it right. Paycor Scheduling software can help you create more efficient schedules in less time, while informing and empowering staff of all generations. Learn more about Paycor Scheduling.


Paycor guided hr software tour

More to Discover

SMB

4 Skills You Need to Run a Profitable Restaurant Business

4 Skills You Need to Run a Profitable Restaurant Business

Running a Restaurant is Not for the Faint of Heart Running a restaurant isn’t something anyone does for easy profits. Sixty-percent of restaurants (and in some regions, 90%) fail within their first year, according to Philip B. Stark of the University of California, Berkeley. Even when everything works, industry profit margins are typically stuck in the low single digits (National Restaurant Association). But There is an Upside So, are restaurant entrepreneurs crazy? No. After all, someone’s turning a profit. Restaurant industry sales are set to exceed a record $863 billion in 2019 (that’s 3.6% year-on-year growth). Consumer confidence is so strong that the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 annual report refers to it as “pent-up...

SMB

Why Brick and Mortar Stores Aren’t Going Anywhere

Why Brick and Mortar Stores Aren’t Going Anywhere

Brick and mortar stores were supposed to be finished. The future of retail is online, industry experts have been saying for a while now. And sure, it’s true that consumer habits have changed, and we all know of traditional retail businesses - large and small - that have suffered from the ‘Amazon effect’. The low margins and convenience of internet shopping have made it seem like just a matter of time until traditional stores were a thing of the past.Here’s the thing: it mostly hasn’t happened that way. As we head into 2020, the ecommerce sector is hovering at around 12% of total retail sales (Statista). Brick and mortar businesses still dominate the marketplace - and some are even experiencing something of a revival. Think about this:...

SMB

Big Business vs. Small Business: 4 Reasons Bigger Isn’t Always Better When it Comes to Employee Experience

Big Business vs. Small Business: 4 Reasons Bigger Isn’t Always Better When it Comes to Employee Experience

The reality is, when it comes to hiring, big corporations are often at an advantage. They can attract talented people with big, resume - building projects and supercharged growth opportunities. In an historically tight labor market, it might seem tougher than ever for small businesses to attract top talent. However, small business owners shouldn’t feel too bad. Here’s why.While they might get less time in the limelight, companies with fewer than 100 employees do still employ more than a third of the U.S. workforce, according to the most recent census. What is attracting these employees to smaller scale operations rather than big names? A lot of it comes down to having their voices heard, being part of great teams, and seeing the...

Mobile Payroll App Pros and Cons

Mobile Payroll App Pros and Cons

Mobile applications, also called mobile apps or just apps, are computer programs that are designed to run on mobile devices such as iPhones, Android devices, tablets or smart watches. Apps are typically downloaded from distribution platforms such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store for Android devices. They were originally pretty basic tools mainly created to assist with productivity such as email and calendar apps, but the functionality became highly popular. Now literally millions of apps are available, including apps for mobile payroll.The first basic payroll self-service app came out in 2010. Over the past decade, and with advances in technology, employees can now access far more than just their pay stubs with a tap of the...