Businesses nowadays are working at speeds that were not imaginable thirty years ago, and the workforce has had to adapt. While many of working age were in employment around the time internet use became widespread, it is the younger generation – millennials to be precise – who are fully embracing it and innovating, to take it to the next level. For organisations with an ageing workforce, a question must be asked – Is it time they start transitioning to a younger workforce?
It can be said there is no match for experience. Youthfulness and fresh ideas from the younger generation in the workplace cannot replace years of experience, but it is almost certainly required if a business wants to progress and not remain stagnant. For most businesses, a mix of experience and fresh ideas (two things that don’t seem to go hand-in-hand) would be the ideal workplace environment. Strategies devised at the top level come from executives usually with many years experience in the industry, however, these decisions can be derived from the younger workforce, and ultimately, younger customers. Disrupting a workplace where the employees are settled, however, by bringing in employees who are younger with the aim of new ideas, may not go so well with the older workforce.
In the past decade, large organisations who had been slow to adjust to new technology and customer thinking have seen their businesses slowly deteriorate. Think of the US retail giant Sears and UK retailer HMV, both of whom were slow to react to the age of online retail and subsequently paid the price. Changes begin at the lowest level, which is why the types of employees hired are of great importance. New energy and ideas, while not always a welcome addition to organisations stuck with a certain structure, are often what is needed in order to keep up-to-date with ever changing business environments. An example of a new idea brought to the workplace is the implementation of conference booking software. Previously a receptionist or secretary would be required to manually organise meetings and input them into a spreadsheet or system, send out invitations and direct attendees to the correct rooms, but now this software takes care of all of the this, and can be run from a mobile phone. New ideas combined with new technology, no matter how disruptive, is often what a business needs to sustain and progress.
While every organisation is different, it is evidently important that they can not rest on their laurels just because what they are doing is working for them. If they do not continuously try to improve, there are many other businesses out there who are ready to take their place. Senior members of the firm should be aware of their opportunities and threats (think of a SWOT analysis), and adjust to put the business in as good a position as possible moving forward.