Today we are seeing at least 4 generations in the workplace. In fact, in some companies there are 5 as Traditionalists (born pre-1946) delay retirement.
Beyond that The Center for Generational Kinetics believe in the future we will see 6 or 7 as ‘generations’ (defined by their common characteristics, preferences and values) get shorter.
We’ve all heard lots about how organisations should handle Millennials (also known as generation Y) as the current largest generation in our workforce, and the signs are that Generation Z will not only be the most diverse generation yet but will completely change how we use technology today.
Whilst most experts say we should be gearing up for Gen Y and Z by adapting our organisations to suit them, its important to remember Gen X and Baby Boomers are still a large and valuable part of our workforce, and that whilst generational traits are common they are not guaranteed.
So what will be the key to conquering the challenge of having so many generations forming our globally mobile workforce? At Bournes we think the following are going to be important when it comes to providing relocation services:
1) Provide Flexibility
It’s a big cliché but one size no longer fits all and so one of our priorities in our business has been providing flexibility to make it simple and pleasant to do business with us, whatever that looks like to you.
"Generation Y and Z are of growing significance, but previous generations are still a vital part of our workforce"
For example at Bournes we now offer 6 (and counting!) different ways to get a survey for Household Goods removals (including a 24/7 video option) and although every assignee has their own personal coordinator responsible for guiding them through the relocation process, keeping them updated with progress and assisting with any assignee tasks they also have their own online portal where they can track their own move or manage their own documents whenever it suits them. This gives the assignee freedom and choice in how they want to use our support in their relocation.
2) Invest in innovation
Whilst the initial costs of investing in innovation may seem high, the benefits frequently exceed it. When it comes to value it's important to consider the bigger picture.
- What cost savings and efficiencies are gained and what is the impact of that? (for example the time saved from automating manual processes may free up time to allow your people to add value in the areas they truly shine).
- What experience improvements are made and what is the impact of that? (for example improved relocation experiences may lead to a more successful and productive international assignment, an improved Talent Management programme and employee retention rate)
- What other benefits does the innovation provide? for example at Bournes the Move Management technology we have invested heavily in provides our corporate clients with a wealth of data to help them better manage their relocation programmes and inform their strategy.
3) Listen, and Never sit still
The great thing about Millennials (allegedly!) is they will tell you what they think and there is usually something we can learn from their feedback.
Customer satisfaction programmes like Net Promoter Score help us at Bournes evaluate at a very deep level the root cause of our satisfaction scores and understand what drives the ultimate customer experience. In fact many of our new ideas and improvements come from our customers.
Likewise in your own organisations refining and building the best Relocation Programme is a job that’s never done, especially as we see more of Generation Z enter the workforce bringing with them their own expectations and norms.
Get to know your assignees and build in a plan for review and adaptation to optimise your programme.
Want to know more?
If you would like to discuss your relocation programme and the flexibility that can be built in to ensure a great customer experience for all assignees please get in touch!