An organization should ideally have a mix of employees of different demographics to work at its utmost. However, this is subject to all employees being hired without bias and according to the job’s requirements. When a diversified group of eligible people works together in a workplace, the chances for the employer’s success are higher.
It is a fact that each age group of workers has its working style. Young employees have many potential benefits to offer their employers, provided we get out of the habit of expecting 2-3 years of experience for entry and initial-level jobs.
Advantages of Having Young Employees in the Workplace
The great thing about young employees is that they have fresh ideas and perspectives to offer to their workplace. This can benefit a business, particularly if you are trying to attract younger customers. A new generation means a new way of thinking. Young staff members offer familiarity to customers their age. Young employees can also help generate marketing strategies that appeal to their age group.
Most young employees are eager to learn, get new (and relevant) work experience and apply their skills in the workforce. This enthusiasm is great for team building, productivity, and workplace morale.
Older employees are less comfortable in a digitized environment and need extra time and effort to understand new technology. Young people are natural in the digital environment. Since this generation grew around computers, portable devices, the internet, and social media, they are quicker at understanding and implementing technology than many senior employees.
Younger employees, especially recently graduated, are more familiar with learning. Those that were recently or are still pursuing some form of professional education will retain a mindset that will help them be more technically up to date and willing to adapt to new technology. Without any significant formal work experience, young employees are essentially a ‘blank slate.’ This allows their employers to develop a workforce of young people specifically trained to meet their organization’s needs and culture.
Payroll is usually the most expensive overhead that a company has. Young employees tend to have less work experience due to their lack of work experience. When you hire a young employee or anyone with minimal on-the-job experience, the new hire would logically start at a lower salary than more experienced workers doing the same job. This lower salary means lower wage expenses and tax contributions. However, remember that this is a secondary factor as fresh employees can have a longer learning curve and greater training and mentoring needs. These additional expenses can even out the cost advantage in the long run.
Having a team of young and willing employees at the entry-level means that companies can free their more experienced workers to work at a more strategic level. This means that the more experienced and skilled employees are free to work in decision-making and more pertinent roles. This allows for more workplace satisfaction and engagement, and employees see that experience and skills are rewarded with more challenging and rewarding roles.
Developing the Workplace for Young People
Along with the training and grooming that young employees will need, the workplace will also need some development. These are particularly necessary if you have many older and experienced employees already working for you.
Some form of training is an essential requirement for any new entrant to a workforce because they are essentially unaware of how things work in your organization. In the case of new employees, they don’t have experience and good and bad habits like more experienced employees might. Similarly, younger employees usually don’t have egos based on past experiences. Employees’ egos and bad habits are always challenging for managers and co-workers to work around. Similarly, most young employees are good at coping with change and new experiences.
This means that young employees can be trained to work according to your business needs. As an HR manager, you should design employee training that addresses the strengths of young employees and the realities of your workplace.
An effectively designed employee training program may take some time to implement, but it will let you quickly bring younger, less experienced employees on board with workplace expectations.
Cultural Shift and Challenges of Having Young Employees
When hiring young people, the company culture should be welcoming. Let your younger employees know that their ideas are valued, and they are an integral part of the workplace now. Many organizations develop a youth-friendly culture by introducing more social interactions like matches, celebratory lunches, and even brunch meetings to make work more fun.
These changes can be complex for older, more reserved, and formal employees to adapt to and requires encouragement from the management to allow it to sustain.
At times the workplace has situations where employees are expected to handle heavy projects to be completed within a specific period, which can be a high-pressure experience for young employees. Many young people end up feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. This could be due to a lack of training or an inability to process pressure. The standard pressure by senior managers to complete the task adds to the performance stress.
Experienced employees have learned how to handle such situations and know how to handle themselves. Young employees may lose patience and get frustrated when something goes wrong.
In critical times, older employees may be able to manage better due to better stress and pressure management.
Like life, business scenarios usually face unexpected (and unplanned) situations. In most cases, younger employees are better equipped to deal with unforeseen changes. While experienced employees are more stable in their responses,
This is an excellent benefit in the shifting landscape of modern-day workplaces where processes, technology, and priorities constantly change. With economic, social, and political boundaries in a state of flux, adaptability gives young people an advantage in a work environment that is more agile, changeable, and fast-paced than ever before.
Sadia Zaheer holds a Masters in Business Administration from IBA, Karachi. After working in several financial institutions in Client Management, Corporate Lending, Islamic Banking and Product Management she jumped careers to pursue a career in writing.
She is a Finance, Business and HR Development writer with four years of experience. She reads a lot and takes care of her multiple cats to remain calm.