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  • HR Manager, Lynneah Smith

The Benefits of a Multi-generational Workforce at ELSNER

There is more age diversity in today’s workforce than ever. For starters, the number of young people opting to go directly to work post high school graduation instead of pursuing a four-year degree is on the rise. Additionally, the average lifespan for humans has increased and more people are choosing to work well past the typical retirement age. As a result, employers are faced with a great span of ages and the challenges of understanding what each age group needs. Despite any challenges, we at ELSNER have found that a multi-generational workforce provides great benefits and opportunities.

With four generations working side-by-side, we have made it a priority to find ways to navigate differences in opinion, communication styles, technology preferences, and more. With a company-wide vision to leverage teamwork, accountability, and craftsmanship to exceed customer expectations, our employees are up for the task to bridge any gaps age may present.

Read on to learn about the many benefits and unique opportunities a multigenerational workforce brings to the table at ELSNER:

Diverse Perspectives: Each generation can be defined by global events that occurred and had an impact on their lives. Baby Boomers navigated a post-World War II climate. Generation X was the first generation to grow up after the civil rights movement. Millennials grew up in the wake of September 11, and Generation Z is fighting the challenges of COVID-19 in the present. Through these experiences, employees in each generation can offer differing perspectives on how work was or can be performed, processed, or questioned.

Transfer of Knowledge: With nearly 20% of our workforce having more than 20 years of experience at ELSNER alone, there are countless opportunities for employees, regardless of age or generation, to exchange the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to our ever-changing and growing organization. Ask Caleb Kaiser, a newly-hired Assembler and Generation Z employee.

“When I got here, I started at ground zero. To see where all of my coworkers are at and learn from them is an inspiration. I had some prior knowledge before starting, which I’ve had the opportunity to share as well.”

Growth and Mentorship: The impact of a multigenerational workforce can play a significant role in defining one’s personal and professional growth. Employees can engage organically with others of different generations simply through day-to-day communication and problem solving, which in turn provides opportunities for them to seek guidance when help is needed or learn through observation and experience.

ELSNER also provides formal opportunities like our company-wide Mentorship Program. Some employees even have the unique opportunity to learn from generations of family members! Our Lead Electrician, Tim Roth, explains,

“I came here to work with my dad, and now I get to work with my son. I’ve worked for 2

generations of Elsner’s, and I love teaching younger people new skills. The best part of my job is the ability to pass on knowledge of the trade.”

Innovation in Technology: Baby Boomers and Generation X employees understand what it took to get to where we are today. They possess the playbook for what it took to maintain ELSNER’s 87 years of stability and success. Millennial and Generation Z employees understand what it’s like to grow up surrounded by technology. The use of computers and smart phones is all but innate. By combining both ends of the spectrum, historical knowledge and technological advancement, we can improve processes and efficiencies to continue to grow.

Variety in Programming: Diverse perspectives, varying skillsets, and changes in technology allow us to recognize that there’s no “one size fits all” model of employment. People prefer to be trained, motivated, and recognized in many ways; generational preferences including cultural or even environmental impacts various approaches. At ELSNER, we’ve created a selection of programs to address various needs such as the Employee Recognition Program, Continuous Improvement Ideas Board, stay interviews, training programs, and Gotcha Coins. Multiple avenues to get involved means employees of all generations have opportunities to be engaged and succeed.

ELSNER’s Plant Manager, Charlie Slayton, summarized it best when describing what it’s like to work with a multigenerational workforce:

“The younger generations grew up in a world of rapidly changing technology that they have learned to trust. The more seasoned generations have a wealth of experience to draw on. A multigenerational workforce allows collaboration to solve today’s problems and prevent tomorrow's. All we must do is teach the groups to communicate with each other.”

If you are interested in becoming part of the dynamic, multi-generational culture of ELSNER, apply today!

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