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Bridging the generation gap in the workplace

Laura Wright, HR Partner at SVC Solutions, explains the importance of effectively supporting new employees through their probationary period or early stages of employment.

Joining the world of work is a fast-changing experience. For Generation X, their first few months of work may well have coincided with the first time they encountered an email address or regular use of the internet. Fast forward two decades and Generation Z entering the jobs scene now are joining at a time of a new dawn with the advent of AI.

As a new starter, whatever role you are entering on your first step into the world of work there are certain to be plenty of new challenges, not least the prospect of spending seven hours a day with a new group of people you haven’t met before and may not necessarily have very much in common with outside of the job you do.

The first steps on the career ladder can certainly be daunting in the dynamic landscape of today’s business world, but every business should also recognise the high value that new blood, new ideas and a breadth of experience can bring to their workforce.

For this reason, the support of experienced staff members, empowered by targeted training, becomes invaluable. As an employer, there are key advantages to recognising how equipping your existing employees with the skills to assist newcomers during their probationary period or early stages of employment can build stronger teams, particularly with a focus on the importance of soft skills and effective communication.

Generation Z employees or those new to the workforce may lack the practical experience or the confidence needed to navigate the professional environment. This is where seasoned employees, through a structured support system, can bridge the gap. Training programmes designed to enhance the mentoring and coaching skills of these experienced workers can play a vital part in developing cohesive and productive teams.

At the heart of a successful support system will always be open and structured communication. Good communication is not merely about conveying information, but about building relationships, fostering trust and creating an environment where new employees feel valued and understood.

Inevitably, this will come more naturally to some members of staff than it does to others, but with the right guidance and supportive training, everyone can play their part by placing an emphasis on active listening, empathy and the ability to provide constructive feedback. These skills enable experienced staff to identify and address the concerns of younger employees, quickly intervening in ways that can help them to feel more secure and integrated within the team.

The benefits of this type of training also extend beyond an individual’s personal and professional development. Sharing in an understanding of these objectives can also play a key role in contributing to a workplace culture of support and continuous improvement.

When new employees feel supported, they are more likely to engage fully with their work, show initiative, and contribute to innovation. This not only accelerates their personal development but also enhances the overall productivity and morale of the team.

Similarly, trained mentors and coaches will not only be adept at supporting other members of the team, but will also prove to be valuable role models who embody the positive values and practices that best define a company’s culture. This is good for business, ensuring a legacy of strong leadership and a sustainable talent pipeline, demonstrating an organisation’s commitment to its most valuable asset – its people.

SVC Solutions has a broad range of training courses to support the needs of your business and develop your teams. To find out more, call 01206 262117.

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