KPMG’s recent report examined the tension between the ageing workforce and Gen Y workers, and revealed that older colleagues are postponing retirement plans and intend to work for longer. The report revealed that the younger generation of workers see this as a direct threat on their career progression.
In line with these findings, much has been said in recent times about the UK’s aging population and the impact it will have on employees, employers and the economy. The KPMG report reveals that only 20% of respondents believe employees will want to retain older colleagues in order to learn from their experience.
A report released by Talentsmoothie revealed that during the next decade, the employment industry will see 13.5 million job vacancies in the UK, with only 7 million school and college leavers to fill the positions; this will leave an enormous gap that will need to be plugged. This reaffirms the notion that there is an imperative need for younger employees to learn from their peers.
This prediction suggests that the future skills shortages should and will be filled with ‘older workers’ as this will provide a proven business benefit by fostering an environment of learning and knowledge sharing. It has often been said that the older generation of employees are the main untapped source of hidden labour talent. Organisations must equip themselves to recruit and retain them, for the growth of their business.
Tensions around technology
The consumerisation of IT has led to Gen Y employees having an expectation for business apps to be as intuitive as mainstream platforms such as Facebook and Google. These expectations show how much technology has grown, and how the younger generation see the interface of business apps to be imperative to their working life. These requirements for Gen Y employees may also be seen as a factor in causing generational tensions, with older colleagues not willing to embrace new technology trends within their organisations.
Many organisations are starting to realise that long term business strategies need to take into account the changing demographics of the workforce. The job of managing people regardless of age will require a shift in attitude, which needs to start evolving now. The underlying message from many people’s minds is whether these gaps can be merged and skills gaps can be filled.