Workplace diversity is a hot industry topic these days for employers, but much of the discussion tends to focus on adding diversity through gender and ethnicity. While this type of workplace diversification is extremely important, age diversity is another equally important piece of the story.
Leveraging the Value of an Age-Diverse Workforce, an executive briefing from the SHRM Foundation and AARP, lays out the benefits of age diversity and why it’s critical for success. Here are some of the highlights:
As many as 5 generations represent today’s workforce.
Our current workforce covers a wide range of ages, representing 5 generations:
The Silent Generation – born between 1925 and 1945
Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
Generation X – born between 1965 and 1980
Generation Y (Millennials) – born between 1981 and 1995
Generation Z (iGen) – born 1996 and later
There are a few trends behind why today’s workforce has so many generations represented:
- People are working longer because they’re healthier and living longer.
- Many Silent Generation and Baby Boomers are choosing to work longer simply because they want, or because they’re not in a position financially to retire.
- Some Baby Boomers find themselves financially supporting their Millennial children who are still living at home in their 20s or 30s.
As the SHRM briefing points out, the case for age diversity and inclusion is indisputable.
Here are 3 reasons why age diversity in the workplace is so important:
#1 – Age diversity improves performance and productivity
Research shows that age diversity in the workplace can improve organizational performance. Studies also show that productivity in both older and younger workers is higher in companies with mixed-age work teams. And age diversity within work teams is positively related to performance when groups are involved in complex decision-making tasks.
#2 – Age diversity can help reduce employee turnover
One big perk of improved performance and productivity is less employee turnover. It’s also reported that workers who are 55 and older can contribute to lower turnover, as they are loyal workers who typically stay in their jobs longer than younger employees. For employers, they gain lower turnover costs and more skilled, experienced employees.
#3 – Age diversity drives innovation
Age diversity in the workplace brings about different experiences, expectations, styles, and perspectives. All these differences can become a source of strength and innovation when addressed and managed the right way. Bottom line – the most diverse organizations are usually the most innovative.
Embracing Age – and Supplier – Diversity
In addition to embracing age diversity in the workplace, A.R. Mazzotta also embraces the power of supplier diversity in our industry. Today, more companies are looking to partner with small or minority-owned businesses like ours in an effort to gain benefits and build stronger communities.
A.R. Mazzotta is certified by the State of Connecticut Supplier Diversity Program as a Women-Owned, Small/Minority Business Enterprise, which allows businesses using our services to meet contract supplier diversity requirements. It’s a win-win for everyone. Learn more here.
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