Frequently, when companies talk about diversity and inclusion, generational diversity doesn’t have an active voice… it gets lost somewhere between the time someone is an intern and the time they retire, but, are they that different?
On one hand, we have digitally native young people from Gen Z and Y starting their careers with tons of fresh ideas and a strong will to make a difference. On the other hand, we have seniors, baby boomers, with many years of experience and vast wisdom about business.
There are a lot of articles and researches online with “do’s and don’ts” and guides on how to ‘deal’ with younger generations, but it’s time for us to take a different approach; an inclusive approach (and not only with young professionals!).
The organizational environment is an interdependent ecosystem and, therefore, we need each other to achieve success. What has to be understood is that the youth bring technology and freshness to the business, but Gen X and baby boomers frequently have extensive market experience and that’s exactly why the generations should work together. Inclusion is the key to improved results and innovation.
Part of opening up to a constructive exchange within generations includes taking a critical look at our own hidden bias. Both leaders and employees must consider themselves introspectively to understand if they have any hidden bias that influence them to adopt certain behaviors towards different generations.
At Schneider Electric, our Diversity and Inclusion Policy applies to all Schneider Electric entities worldwide. All entities are obliged to develop actions related to diversity and inclusion that cover areas such as gender, generational and cultural differences. We see inclusion as more than just welcoming diversity in the company. For us, it is about creating an inclusive culture in which all forms of diversity are seen as added value for the company. Only by acknowledging the great value everyone brings, based on different sets of skills, no matter the generation, can inclusion be achieved and be the key to success and motivation at work.