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How to deal with different generations in the workplace


At the moment, we're in the unique situation of having five generations in the workplace says Frew Murdoch in her article HR, the cloud and Millenials: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials and Generation Z. To best be able to deliver to them, our organisations need to be talent centric says Fabrice de Carne: product strategy director at Oracle. What does this mean?

To be talent centric, we need to know everything about our employees. For example, before you put together job descriptions you need to have the competencies – that you require in a candidate –defined perfectly.

The idea about learning as much as you can about your employees isn't new; however, the idea of using this information in different areas of your talent management process is. The information that you gather about your employees will, for example, enable you to perform your succession planning effectively and forms the big data about your employees. For example, if you know that one of your employees is fluent in Portuguese, you've just landed a big tender in Portugal and you need someone to head it up for you, you could send the employee - who is fluent in Portuguese to take up this position - as it will be easier for them to integrate into the culture.

Big data will become indispensable to HR

One of the current 'buzzphrases' in business is big data – i.e. the 'exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured' - and how you can leverage off this concept to your benefit in HR. For example, De Carne says that by using big data in HR, "you'll be able to see how you can benchmark yourself against other companies in the space" and you'll be able to find "correlations that you weren't able to before".

The way we work in the future will be collaborative

De Carne also advises that it's extremely important to be collaborative in your organisations as combined decision-making introduces new perspectives and ideas, which will ultimately make the decisions we take better. Although we might not all work in the same office or even the same time zone, we need to make the effort as it will benefit the company. Technology will help to make this collaboration possible.

According to a 2013 CEB survey of employees, there is an increase in collaboration which shows us that employees are wanting to collaborate with each other more as there is a need to analyse more data because of the explosion in technology.

We need to deliver better systems to our managers and HR departments

Taking into account the additional pressure that has been put on HR in recent years, we need to provide them with better systems that will enable them to do their jobs.

To create these systems, De Carne says that we need to look at modern HR, what its needs are, and see how we can translate these needs into technology. Cloud is an existing technology that will facilitate the development of these systems.

"We're already providing new solutions in the cloud as it's much faster than traditional systems. The cloud also allows for faster innovation as you don't need to customise the system and it's also much cheaper than traditional systems," concludes De Carne.

Editor's note: We have a number of interesting articles about the intersection of cloud and HR, which you might be interested in reading. Here are the links: