Talent Retention & Generations in the Workforce

PERKS Editorial Team

PERKS Editorial Team


February 23, 2022

The Building Culture Podcast - Episode 4.3

Melanie Wertzberger, CEO of Shaka - "Talent Retention & Generations in the Workforce"

Did you know that Millennials and Gen Z will make up the majority of the workforce in 2025? Join Evelyn, Melanie Wertzberger, CEO of Shaka and Eileen Lee, VP of People & Culture at PERKS for a conversation about how best to support the needs of different generations at work.


You can download the episode here.

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Show notes:
  • Disclaimer: This conversation on generations in the workforce isn't meant to just point out differences - but to inspire a constructive dialogue between generations
      • Every generation spans 20-30 years, so there are differences even within that
  • Based on an infographic from Purdue University:
    • 1928-1945 Traditionalists
    • 1946-1964 Baby boomers
    • 1965-1980 Gen X
    • 1981-1996 Millennials/Gen Y
    • 1997-2012 Gen Z
    • Each generation often has a defining event(s) that shape their outlook and responses.
    • Millennials and Gen Z will make up the majority of the workforce in 2025 
  • Shift in recruiting strategies because most applicants are millennials or Gen Z.
    • Things to consider:
      • The People Experience begins during the interview process, not just when someone is hired
      • Type of communication
      • Social media platforms
      • Priorities
      • Speed
  • Benefits of a multi-generational workforce
    • Competitive advantage and learning from one another
    • Empathy
    • Indeed: mentoring, innovation
  • Keeping employees engaged
    • Creating a safe space
    • At PERKS, weekly team hangs, syncs
    • PERKS culture index - surveys for employee feedback that tie directly back to the products we offer in our marketplace.
    • Employee engagement is a factor in our PX measure and a component of doing workplace culture well. 
  • Relationship between lived (personal) experiences and shared experiences.
  • Business Insider reports millennials are more likely to feel behind on their finances, and almost half say their financial situation is preventing them from achieving their goals
    • Recessions, high living costs, student debt, inflation, job loss
    • Leading to more creative solutions for living and working
    • Bridging young families and health issues for aging parents 
      • Why putting yourself in someone else's shoes is key
  • How do historical events impact generations differently? Example: 9/11 and the formation of TSA
    • TSA is a norm for younger generations, but sometimes more challenging for older ones!
  • Speaking of Gen Z...
    • Also the most independent
    • Most anxious, individualistic (American Psychological Association)
    • True digital natives due to constant access and exposure to technology
    • Searching for security
    • People use their phones for everything, including work and socialization
    • Work-life balance vs. flexibility
  • Trends we expect to see that will be the most successful in retaining Millennial and Gen Z
    • Mental wellness
    • Relationships and networking
    • Team bonding
    • Candidate experience
    • Fast onboarding
    • Flexibility and flextime
    • Mobile recruiting
    • Shared experiences
  • Teams are made up of these 4 generations. It's essential to gather feedback of interests and what works for individuals.
    • Reflecting that feedback into planning team activities.
      • Polls are a feature in our PERKS platform :)
    • How can we learn to create strong work relationships - given that we have our differences? What can helps teams to support folks from diverse backgrounds, upbringings, even expectations?
      • Having that culture of psychological safety and respect
  • What is the best way to manage multiple generations while promoting team collaboration? 
    • Culture of respect and empathy, belonging and positivity
      • Emotional intelligence (EQ) - managing your own emotions to communicate well, problem-solve, and resolve conflicts.
    • Addressing the preconceived notion that it’s harder to manage people who are older than you. How has that affected both of your leadership style?
      • Being the expert in your subject
      • Confident in your position and experience to execute whatever task, but also doing the human component of culture well.