‘Human resources’ or ‘human relationships’ – which HR is your company?

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1. Trust

“Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials first and foremost want to work for a company they trust, one that lives up to its promises and delivers value to them individually – the ‘me’ proposition,” wrote Bahr Thompson.

“Fair salary and benefits are the basis of trust in the workplace, and the starting point for any company looking to create a better employer-employee relationship.

“Policies that ensure people get regular acknowledgement and praise for a job well done are also critical to promoting a more trusting, positive, healthy, relaxed and less-stressed work environment—for all generations.”

2. Enrichment

Work-life balance rated high across all employee groups in Bahr Thompson’s research; but different cohorts wanted different things.

“Baby Boomers look for recognition of their individual strengths and skills, and accountability that fosters pride in a job well done,” she explained.

“Gen Xers seek friendly employers that help them to achieve their goals by simplifying their personal chores and making routine tasks easier to accomplish, [and] Millennials yearn for employers that focus on their personal development and well-being.”

This included providing supportive managers, rather than faceless bosses; rewards for good ideas; egalitarian organisational structures; and fully funded professional and personal development programs.

3. Responsibility

“All people expect their employers to treat others fairly, behave ethically and be proactive in their business practices,” wrote Bahr Thompson.

“This doesn’t mean you have to have a perfect brand reputation.

“Indeed, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials all respect and become fans of businesses that exhibit human traits and are honest about their shortcomings, providing you have not been duplicitous and are making a concerted effort to improve.”

4. Community

Bahr Thompson referred the company we work for as “a badge of sorts”.
“[It] signifies who we are and what we’re about to our family, friends and people we meet in general,” she said.

“A sense of ‘belonging’ and working in a culture that mirrors our values has always strengthened employee engagement.

“While Baby Boomers seek to work alongside teammates and Gen Xers look to form friendships with coworkers, Millennials aspire to spend time—physically and virtually—in a cohesive, supportive and enriching environment.

“They endeavor to connect with friends who share their values and interests, not just career stages, job functions or organizational departments.”

5. Contribution


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