It is so helpful having friends in Human Resource roles! I love picking their brains! What motivates and engages our employees is fascinating. Everyone is different but do they really want different things?
I asked my friend, Katherine Murphy, who works as the Manager of Talent Development at Carter's, how do you keep different generations engaged at work? She says, "I think all generations want the same thing. All employees want to enjoy what they do and feel valued. Often we spend more time at work than we do at home, so why not enjoy it? I think where generation differences come in is via technology. Younger employees grew up in an age where they can access any type of information in a split second and are constantly connected to the (entire) world and their friends/family. This is very different than some of the other generations that are still in the workforce today."
So I asked, how does an organization find synergy between varied generations? "I think that organizations need to find a healthy balance to communication and development opportunities for their overall workforce and then individual teams can tailor how they approach work depending on what works for them. What works for some (the expectation of constant/transparent communication, quick online training, frequent promotions) may not work for others, regardless of what generation a person may fall within."
I know Carter's has had 26 years of consecutive growth, what is your secret to employee engagement? "At Carter’s, our goal is to never lose focus on building a culture of engagement. With 26 years of consecutive growth, we bring in the best talent in the industry, give them the tools to succeed and grow, and provide a culture of open communication (from our CEO down, to a robust performance management process and ensuring employees always know what is expected of them). We also have a lot of fun! We are a company that likes to give back to our communities and we always give our employees the opportunity to participate and feel like their work matters."
Thank you, Katherine Murphy, for your expert advice!