Age and generational challenges
- Employing a mix of age groups: people of different ages are equally important for organizations, as different skills and experience are important today and in the future. There are many organizations where, because of the majority of people of a similar age, retirement can be a huge problem, as there is not enough replacement in the next few years, i.e., there are not enough younger employees. Those approaching retirement are therefore unable to pass on the experience and knowledge they have already acquired to the next generation. To compensate for this loss of knowledge, special mentoring schemes are often set up.
- Work-life balance: good working conditions and development opportunities are important to ensure that employees stay with the company until retirement. It is a priority for organizations to ensure that employees are willing to embrace lifelong learning. Work-life balance and related programmes, such as flexible working hours, are now of high importance. They can offer health programmes to ensure longer employment and tailor these to the needs of each generation.
- Intergenerational diversity: employing a mixed-age workforce is a major challenge for all organizations. Perfectly matching different values and attitudes is a major challenge. Generation Y entering the labor market has a completely different outlook, a different lifestyle and a different set of priorities compared to the baby boomer generation currently retiring or about to retire.
Physical and mental abilities, differences
Employment of people with physical or mental disabilities: to date, it is often assumed that people with disabilities are less productive in various work processes. Management can provide a helping hand in achieving these skills and abilities, thereby optimizing work processes. When employing people with disabilities, accessibility to the workplace is a priority. Tasks should always be matched to the appropriate skills and impairments. Most organizations employing people with disabilities appoint a representative. The representative’s role is to harmonies the skills of individual workers, jobs and working conditions.
- Most organizations have now realized that they can benefit from employing staff from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. One of the success factors of globalization and the key to entering new markets is language and cultural knowledge. New customer relationships and international professionals can be gained. Market value increases as the company becomes more attractive to investors.
- Social diversity requires support from organizations. Building international or intercultural networks is a very effective way of exchanging employee experience. Networks can provide useful advice to organizations and can also act as an incentive.
- A basic prerequisite for good cooperation is the development of an open organizational culture, where understanding differences and similarities is the main objective. To this end, training sessions are organized, and sometimes programmes are organized to help employees better understand and accept each other’s cultures.
- Gender plays an important role in diversity. Gender differences have a lasting impact on organizations. The aim is to eliminate and break down stereotypes. This also applies to gender and gender identity. The disadvantage of single-sex workplaces is that they hinder development and growth. In an optimal corporate culture, men and women are equally motivated to contribute to the proper development and shaping of the organizational culture. Mixed teams result in a productive working environment. It is important to address wage differentials and reduce the pay gap. By creating stakeholder groups, different groups are much better represented, such as parents, part-time employees, women.
Religion and worldview
- Respect for religion or belief is very important, so employees feel safe and motivated. More and more organizations are now recognizing this and are accordingly placing greater emphasis on this aspect. Companies employ a large number of employees of different religions and beliefs. Roman Catholics, Jews, Buddhists and many more. Companies strive to treat religious affiliation with respect and organize religious programmes, which include an opportunity to learn about religious customs.