How agile are your inter-generational teams?

Fri, November 16, 2018

How agile are your inter-generational teams?

Some thoughts from Ocean’s D&I Director, Peter Hall. 

There is a saying “we live in interesting times”. Well in today’s workplace this has certainly taken root.  Never has the world of work undergone such seismic change in such short period of time. We are all aware of the impact that technology is having in the workplace and as a consequence more organisations across various sectors are adopting more dynamic approaches to working. These same organisations are witnessing an improved ability to attract, engage and retain a diverse workforce. Agile working therefore presents a fantastic opportunity to increase the level of organisational diversity and inclusion.

Despite this, the asset management industry has some catching up to do with other sectors. The 2017 Diversity Project Mercer study concluded that one the top four barriers to diversity was flexible working. At last year’s Diversity Project’s conference Jennifer Ockwell stated that “working flexibly doesn’t just mean working part time”. These themes were further revisited a year later in News Financial’s report ‘Diversity in Portfolio Management’ recognising that: ‘Firms are trying to improve their understanding of flexible working, by reviewing their flexible working arrangements and offering guidance to employees’. The sector’s key challenge is how it opens its mindset from having ‘comfort in presenteeism’ to ‘comfort in flexible working’. This is a difficult nut to crack. 

There are now five generations in the workplace and each of these generations has a separate set of values, social norms and influencers. For example, what Generation Y is looking for is different to that of the ‘baby boomers’. Generation Y (known commonly as Millennials) is the largest segment of the workforce. This group of talent is looking for a balanced worklife and has a strong attachment to their smart devices. Baby boomers however typically don’t.  A survey by Ring Central found that 84 percent of Millennials use mobile phones for work while on personal time. Baby boomers prefer to switch their work phones off completely. There are many other examples of such paradoxes and this can be difficult for a line manager to naviagte. One size doesn’t fit all and managers must learn to flex appropriately.

Where do you start?

You can join us for an insightful round table about how to navigate some of these nuances at our breakfast seminar on How to manage inter-generational teams.

D&I Metrics

What gets measured gets done. That is why we collect diversity metrics on both our candidates and clients in line with the Data Protection and Equality Acts. This allows us to identify areas requiring additional focus and also to measure progress across the industry. With biases prevalence through the employee lifecycle we actively utilize our diversity data to demonstrate where barriers exist and to create solutions to overcome them.

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