IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Unlocking the benefits of leading a multi-generational workforce

By Julia Gabel
Tue 13 Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

By Tony Simonsen, managing director, Australia and New Zealand, Polycom

It was not too long-ago that business normal often consisted of ‘old guys’ – those who had spent years working their way up to the so called ‘top jobs’. 

Usually found sitting in their closed-door offices at one end of the building; with the so called young ones – sitting in their cubicles, waiting for their own chance to move up the ladder and into an office of their own. 

Fast forward to today where we now work in a far more complex and diverse workplace environment.

One that has seen rapid advances in technology, creating new ways of working - agile workforces and mobile workers who are embracing a more ‘work from anywhere’ style of getting the job done. Nimble entrepreneurial style start-ups working in partnership with established corporates.

One that has also seen a major demographic shift in the age range of our working population. According to Statistics New Zealand, the rate of employment is now 68.2% with approximately 2.72 million people aged between 15 and 65 years now make up our workforce.

That’s five generations, who could potentially be working side-by-side in the same workplace.

Does Workplace Diversity Create More Opportunities?

For me, it has never been a greater time to be in a leadership role.

New Zealand’s talent pool is so rich and diverse, quite unlike any other period in history. Diversity – and not just gender diversity – brings different ideas, backgrounds, and assumptions to the table.

Having a talent pool made up of different generations means you have a broader perspective and can draw upon a wider range of ideas to make better decisions.

Our customers are certainly not all aged in their fifties; or even their twenties, so having senior leaders and employees who act more like our customer base can only be a positive thing.

Artificial Intelligence, Anywhere Working and the Future of Work

I’m often asked to explain the role that new technologies are expected to play in helping shape New Zealand’s Workplace of the Future.

Today, there is a wide held belief that technologies like artificial intelligence will eliminate future jobs and tasks. While some jobs will be done by machines, human workers will not be replaced, but they will need to master new skills to deliver the value that only humans can provide.

For me, anywhere working is a strong example of where technology is playing a positive role in helping address the needs of our future workforce.

For too long the ability of being able to work flexibly has been limited to working from home and has been primarily beneficial to working mothers.

In The Changing World of Work, a Polycom global survey of more than 25,000 workers around the world, we found that flexible working is now becoming the basis for truly digitally-transformed businesses across all generations of workers.

While our anywhere working survey found that nearly two-thirds of the global workforce take advantage of anywhere working, employees still have concerns about its impact on their career.

Surprisingly, results showed that it was technology-savvy millennials who were most concerned about the correlation between being physically present at work and being recognised as getting the job done.

In today’s technology-enabled workplace, anywhere working is becoming business-normal; employees expect it, and employers need to provide clear and fair policies to attract and retain their best talent.

Why Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce is not ‘Rocket-Science’

For any leader, the ability to bring a diverse group of people together to achieve a common purpose or business outcome is always enormously satisfying.

Managing such a diverse group doesn’t need to involve a shift in major mindset, generational intelligence training, or re-writing the HR ‘playbook’.

At the heart of it is the need to focus on our employees as people, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle choice, or work location. It’s also about empowering them with the right tools to get the job done.

We need to make sure that people are collaborating, building relationships, connecting with each other and remaining as productive as possible whether they choose to work in an office or remotely.

This means enabling them with access to the right business and communication tools to be successful – an adequate laptop, the ability to dial into audio and video conference calls, and content-sharing platforms so they can hear and be heard.

Allowing More Technology Choice within the Workplace

New technologies are no longer just for millennials.

Most of us have been using laptops, tablets or smartphones as part of our daily lives for over two decades. Naturally, we expect to have the same mobility and flexibility when it comes to our working lives too.

My team is made up of four generations, and perhaps not surprising, each generation has its own preferred hardware and communications preferences, and not just a device-of-choice but also the way how they use it.

The Snapchat and Instagram generation, for example, prefer to use their smartphones to communicate with video and visuals. They are not as comfortable sending text or SMS with emoji’s (which are becoming commonplace) or using the telephone to make a voice call.

I’ve found that by being flexible and adapting my own preferred communication style to suit the team members I’m working with improves workplace communication.

I use WhatsApp, email, telephone, and video conferencing throughout any day – dependant on what each member is most comfortable with.

Embracing Workplaces Differences Leads to Workplace Success

Multi-generational teams provide diversity in thinking.

When you think about it, the older generations were not always afforded as much education as the younger generations are today – opting instead to learn on the job.

When you see the ideas that come from combining the wisdom and experience of the older workforce with the inquisitive minds of the younger cohort it is great to be a part of. I enjoy leading such a diverse team.

With so many predictions being tossed around about the future of work, it’s crucial that businesses and employees start planning for what lies ahead.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cryptocurrency
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
BitTitan
How to achieve your monthly recurring revenue goals
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the ultimate goal, the most important issue on which anyone in the IT channel should focus.
Story image
eCommerce
Robust digital warehouse management crucial in Asia-Pacific
Thanks to a network of “cloud” stores, grocery and food delivery providers such as Foodpanda can arrange for these commonly requested items to get packed up and sent over in almost no time.
Story image
Testing
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Tricentis
Tricentis provides software testing automation, and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.
Story image
F5 Networks
Telstra, F5 team up to bolster services and solutions
“This partnership demonstrates our ongoing investment into APAC as we continue delivering high value services and solutions to our partners and customers."
Story image
Healthcare
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Talend
Forrester names Talend Leader in enterprise data fabric
Forrester has named Talend a leader among enterprise data fabric providers in the Forrester Wave: Enterprise Data Fabric, Q2 2022 report.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
Training
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Cloudera
Overcoming hybrid and multi-cloud challenges to drive innovation
Driven by improvements in technology, financial services companies have advanced both internal and external systems and processes, with the likes of digitisation, personalisation and risk management redefining the industry.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Trend Micro
5G network projects driven by improving security and privacy
Trend Micro's new study reveals the prospect of improved security and privacy capabilities are the main motivations behind private 5G wireless network projects.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Story image
trust
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Internet of Things
Domino's Pizza: A blueprint for secure enterprise IoT deployment
Increasingly, organisations are embracing smart technologies to underpin innovations that can enhance safety and productivity in every part of our lives, from industrial systems, utilities, and building management to various forms of business enablement.
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
Microsoft
SMX partnership with Microsoft leads to NTT recognition
SMX has captured the attention of NTT after receiving positive reviews from businesses across Australasia and beyond for its email security.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Stax and Consegna partner to accelerate modernisation
According to a statement, the new alliance will help both companies expand their reach across the region and realise joint goals.
Story image
New Relic
How to tackle the great brain drain in the tech industry
Attracting and retaining tech talent in Australia and New Zealand is becoming increasingly challenging, with the 2022 Hays Salary Guide showing a startling 91% of employers facing a skills shortage.
Story image
Phishing
Online identity theft is rising in NZ - here’s what to do about it
It may start with a few stolen details online, but it could end with thousands of dollars missing or worse, a reputation down the drain.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Government
Cyclone selected as NZ MOE software licensing partner
Following a recent Request for Proposal (RFP), Christchurch-based company Cyclone Computer Company Ltd (Cyclone) has been selected as The Ministry of Education’s software licensing partner.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Data
MYOB improves data visibility and user access with Snowflake
"Solutions such as Snowflake allow us to better understand our customers and make evidence-based decisions on what features work best for them."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Gartner
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
SaaS
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.