Topic – “Challenges in Talent Management in a Multi-Generational Work Context.”

Moving in its final phase, DISHA 2014 reached its zenith. The final panel discussion that took place among the prominent faces of the corporate world added another star to the event’s glory. The topic discussed in the panel was “Challenges in Talent Management in a Multi-Generational Work Context”.It was moderated by Prof. Seena Biju, TAPMI.Some of the important issues discussed were- different needs and aspirations of various generations, the need of professional attitude at the workplace and questions like ‘If we are making too much of the generation gap’.

Mr. Ramakrishna, Senior VP of HR,IDFC: Mr. Ramakrishna joined in the panel discussion by saying that, at any point, there are multiple generations working in an organization. They are required to work together to achieve the organizational goals. To do this, we need to understand their expectations and communicate well. Generations don’t matter, as long as the employees deliver and the shareholders are happy. When newer generations enter the workforce, the average age of the organizational employees reduce. The newer generations are eager to take-up newer platforms to communicate optimally with each other. Mr. Ramakrishna concluded by saying that people will find new ways to communicate with each other, across generations and coexist if they have a shared vision.

Ms. Vidya Muralidharan, HR Business Partner – After Market – Ashok Leyland: Ms. Vidya Muralidharan started the discussion with a question – “Are we making too much of the generation gap?” She said that the main differences between the older and younger generation are the shuffling of jobs on the basis of pay packages and the amount of knowledge that is available to the younger generation, which was not available for the older people. She concluded with emphasizing the importance of communication channels and how they help facilitate communication in an organization.

Mr. Mohnish Vaidya, Director HR, UST Global; Mr. Mohnish started the discussion on a lighter note that when he started his career, there were none of these generations viz. Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists; but now one more has born – Gen Z. Making a remark on the way technology has dominated our lives, he said, “I want to know how many present here were born with smart phones”. He believed that when we bring our family issues to the workplace, then it becomes a problem. If people act professionally, the organization knows better what work they want to get out of the employee. A lot of the issues that people have in an organization would be resolved.

Mr. Nagdev B, Director HR, Aptean Global: Mr. Nagdev B joined the discussion with an age old quote by Socrates “The next generation will ruin the world”. Hence, this multigenerational gap has always existed.This is the “not so good part” and thus, history may not repeat always but it may rhyme. There have to be ways to balance the interaction between the younger and the elder generations. By giving the analogy of a family staying together in spite of various differences, he emphasized the importance of gaining equilibrium between multi-generations in the organization.Various approaches to encourage employees of different generations, viz. Traditional, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y, to work as a team towards their organizational goals was also shared by him.He revealed the secret of being a successful manager by stating, “People can resign from the company but they will never leave. They look for ways to stay associated with the company”.

He concluded the discussion by stating the need to reduce the perception gap which is the biggest barrier in multi -generational context by taking a midway.

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