How to Mobilize Your Multigenerational Global Mobility Program
The globally mobile workforces of today have evolved significantly with the presence of multiple generations now employed simultaneously. The varying skills, life experiences, knowledge bases, and aspirations across generations can present substantial challenges to global mobility programs unprepared to manage generational diversity. Yet, despite potential difficulties, employing and effectively overseeing a multigenerational workforce can be highly beneficial to your organization.
As of 2022, Millennials comprise 33% of the total U.S. workforce, followed by Baby Boomers at 25% and Gen Z employees at 5%. As the workforce continues to evolve, companies with an internationally dispersed workforce must be prepared for the generational diversity a multigenerational team brings. When appropriately managed, this workforce can provide your company with a competitive advantage, leading to increased innovation and creativity, a strong talent pipeline, and an enhanced company culture.
We’ve compiled our top three tips for harnessing the power of a multigenerational, globally mobile workforce:
Leverage multigenerational skills within your mobility program
Whether it’s interpersonal communication, content creation, or web development, each generation in your mobility program will bring important skills to the workplace. Creating opportunities to collaborate and share talents across teams can help assignees learn from each other and increase work productivity and efficiency. For example, consider establishing an informal yet supportive mentoring or reverse mentoring program that pairs assignees across age groups to exchange skills, knowledge, and ideas. You can even assign job roles and projects that match or complement an assignee’s personal style or skillset.
Leveraging the unique strengths of each generation and enabling them to learn from each other will help you create an environment that’s collaborative, competitive, and agile as the demand for new skills increases.
Embrace assignees’ generational differences
Accommodating generational differences in the workplace can seem challenging for even the best managers. Each generation will have its preferences for communication, work styles, and schedules. For example, you may have a Millennial assignee who prefers remote work and communication via Slack, or a Baby Boomer who appreciates emails and being in their host country’s office.
Adapting your work strategies to span the different needs of a multigenerational team will help your company attract and retain top talent, regardless of generation. This type of workplace also reflects the increasingly diverse global mobility customer base.
Prioritize assignee inclusivity and combat age-based stereotyping
When managing a multigenerational workforce, creating a mobility program and workplace where every individual can bring their full work potential is essential. While it’s true that social and historical events influence each generation, global mobility programs need to become acquainted with assignees as individuals beyond generational stereotypes. One of the best ways to ensure this is to avoid making generation-based assumptions or any other type of generalization.
Like managing dispersed cross-cultural teams, effectively overseeing multigenerational mobile assignees requires active strategies. For example, offering technical and cultural training, hosting role-reversal exercises, or openly discussing generational differences can help you build a cohesive team that supersedes generational stereotypes. In addition, this is an excellent way to demonstrate that your organization’s global mobility program is committed to fostering a greater understanding of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
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