by Ian Dowd, Marketing Director Ireland, NGA Human Resources
As the Irish workforce becomes increasingly diverse, the task of engaging and retaining people from different generations is also becoming more complex.
More and more of us now operate from a range of workplaces, whether that means hot desking within one building, working in different locations or working from home. Mobile technology allows people to do their job from just about anywhere, from conference calls in the car to emails on the train. Being tied to a desk in one location for eight hours a day is becoming a thing of the past and businesses need to adapt their technology and working practices to allow for this.
The ageing workforce is a growing trend not only in Ireland but in Europe as a whole. In fact, it is such a concern that the Commission and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has recently launched a major Europe-wide campaign promoting sustainable work and workplace safety and health in the context of the ageing workforce. Surveys show that although baby boomers are reaching the age of retirement, they intend to continue working until the age of 66, with some working as late as 73 years old. In fact, one in 10 baby boomers has no plans to retire at all. But let’s not forget that the next generation of our workforce, the millennials, are also changing the rules when it comes to HR. Some experts believe over the next 10 years this group will make up over 75 per cent of the workforce in Ireland.
As the workforce becomes increasingly diverse, the practice of simultaneously engaging and retaining older and younger generations becomes increasingly difficult. One of the most important benefits-related truths is that one size does not fit all, and benefits managers must consider workforce demographics when putting together a reward package.
There are benefits that appeal to the entire workforce such as flexible working options. These types of arrangements are great for young parents as well as an older worker who is caring for an elderly parent or spouse. Workplace wellness programmes are also gaining popularity among all types of employees.
These programmes offer access to well-ness experts, onsite health screenings, even, in some cases, wellness-related spending accounts that give staff cash to spend on activities that enrich their health. Comprehensive benefits plans that package flexible working options, wellness programs, investment and personal counselling, and other universally popular benefits send the message that the business appreciates and invests in all its employees.
HR often faces the challenge of ensuring that their employees understand the benefits available to them in order to truly value the benefits package offered. That’s when strong communication becomes essential.
New benefits management technologies allow HR to personalise employee communications by demographics or other employee data. These technologies can identify employee status updates such as address changes, new job titles or family changes. They can then automatically generate personalised messages to offer congratulations, alert employees to required actions, and aid in benefits selections.
Benefits enrolment and HR processes in general, often involve fragmented paper form completion and complex software that is anything but intuitive. However, using the right type of technology to streamline the benefits process can reduce the employee enrolment time from hours to minutes. And that is something every employee can get behind.
While the younger generation is by and large tech savvy, older employees may be less familiar using online self-service platforms. Therefore it’s important to look for HR technology software that focuses on the user experience through seamless and easy-to-use interfaces and processes.
About NGA Human Resources
NGA Human Resources is a global leader in helping organisations transform their business-critical HR operations to deliver more effective and efficient people-critical services. We help our clients become better employers through smarter, more streamlined business processes — to save money, manage employee life cycles, and support globally connected, agile organisations. This is how NGA makes HR work.
What sets us apart is The NGA Advantage. It’s a combination of deep HR experience and insight, advanced technology platforms and applications, and a global portfolio of flexible service delivery options.
Founded in 1969, NGA has over 44 years of experience in the IT industry. As a recognised global HR services leader, we have offices in 35 countries on five continents, supporting customers in more than 100 countries.