Don’t walk by …. Walking by can lead to a shallower path that may never be fulfilled whatever ‘more’ is made, so stop to bend…and lend a hand.

We are often asked how to bridge generations, how to be more inclusive, and we have significant provision scope to support organisations at whatever stage of their journey. With the challenges we are all experiencing now, it would be (more than) useful to consider, and in time, reflect on, some fundamental lessons.

Join forces to mitigate and defend – in the business sense, ensure staff have the tools to perform well, structure training and encourage integrated teamwork. Such an approach provides improved retention and loyalty to optimise output. Share inclusive values across your supply chain and external partners, improving standards and achieving better value-for-money services.

Collaborate to innovate and develop – encourage integrated working to share and distribute know-how, knowledge and experience, that will present innovation and design opportunities for product development. Commit to personal and technical development that encourages achievement ambition that can provide a competitive edge.

Change behaviours to instil an instinctive culture – rather than rigid and conscious practice, establish a ‘normal’ best practice of inclusive working, learning, output, and relationship management, as the cultural instinctive that becomes second nature.

In todays’ world of strategising and planning, it does require leaders to start with a conscious approach to inclusion. But don’t wait, take the first step now to integrate a multi-generational, intersectional workforce, and see conscious behaviours change to a culture of instinctive widening participation.

Integrate to create a multigenerational blend that brings all the positive generations attributes together in a culture of inclusiveness, and establish lifelong learning as standard practice. Such a culture will produce cohesive and stimulated teams that work, train and develop together.

The outcomes from such a culture stretch beyond a healthier, happier workforce, it can produce improved business performance that not only creates economic and employment sustainability, it sets the foundations for opportunities for growth. Such a culture ensures more compatible teams, business improvement in terms of market share, and successful entry to new markets.  Gains Through Diversity

Although protected characteristics have been identified, bias remains rife and there are lessons to be learned and behaviours to be changed.

We see this in the employment cycles of retention, training, promotion and recruitment…the young may not have experience, or the time in post, or the softer attributes developed in different situations….the older worker may not have the new tech or access to various social networks. Across the generations, it’s also important to strike a balance of language and vocabulary to establish a common understanding.

The young may be under qualified, the older worker may be deemed to be over qualified…..but who is ever over qualified? In todays challenges…is the doctor, the nurse, the postie, the supermarket shelf-stacker…..and the volunteers…are we going to reject individuals for being over qualified?

So don’t walk by, and for a ‘nudge’, why not revisit the well-played out school lesson of the Good Samaritan. (thank you BBC!)

I urge you to change strategy, it’s not just the right thing to do, it is business imperative to ensure  you bring everyone along with you, establish an inclusive culture that builds strong communities and outstanding business performance.

Steve Anderson | CEO | The Age Diversity Forum

[email protected]