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Much has been written and discussed that, for the first time in history, five distinct generations occupy space in the global workforce. It’s an amazing statistic, but what does it actually mean in reality?

Each group has unique personal, professional and occupational needs, but what is true and what is stereotype? The traditionalist, say, prefer manual processes and in-person interaction and Gen Z turns to technology to check the weather, rather than look out of the window.

There is more to understanding each generation’s working styles, needs and expectations than meets the eye, in the endeavour to improve the employee experience in an equitable way, says Steve Tonks, SVP EMEA at WorkForce Software.

When recognising the generational differences, it makes sense to identify the similarities too. Employers and employees are increasingly misaligned on vital issues – such as job training, scheduling, flexibility and salaries – which ultimately affects both employee experience and heightens employee perceptions of the workplace.

“Every employee has a voice to be heard and in today’s increasingly competitive landscape, businesses cannot afford to ignore them and accept the churn,” says Tonks.

“It’s imperative to provide an employee experience that empowers all talent, regardless of their age, background – or any other characteristic for that matter – to have a positive and successful working experience.”