Having a multi-generational workforce can be a huge benefit for a maintenance staff, especially one that uses maintenance management software. Because of longer careers and younger workers graduating from vocational programs, more companies are employing a staff with a great variation in age. This offers employers the benefit of very different perspectives and talents among the workforce. But it can also create a few situations that, if managed properly, will not detract from the teams skill set and ability to perform, but enhance it. One key area that requires additional planning to achieve success is training.
Due to the different levels of formal training and the types of training received across a multi-generational staff, peer training is a great way to increase everyone’s skill set and comfort level. The hands-on experience of the experienced staff is something that no newer employee could acquire or learn in a classroom or online training environment. Those with seniority passing on their knowledge and tried-and-tested processes will provide the newer employees with more diverse methods of testing, monitoring and performing routine tasks.
The younger, more tech-savvy employees are certain to have more experience and a higher level of comfort with modern technology such as the use of maintenance management software. Having grown up with computers, they are more adept at quickly learning new technological tools and streamlining testing processes. Their skills with these modern pieces of equipment can be shared with the more seasoned workers to enhance their ability to efficiently and confidently work with the newer equipment and tools.
Keeping in mind that the skill sets of the multi-generational staff might not be the only difference, training should be provided in several formats to allow all staff members to learn in their own way and at their own pace. Online tutorials and interactive computer simulations are great teaching tools for younger, more tech-oriented employees, but those who are not as well versed in computers or who require a hands-on approach to training might not be able to grasp new information well from this type of presentation. It is always a good idea to offer hands-on training in addition to online or computer-simulated options.
No matter what level of training and experience a maintenance staff possesses, everyone can benefit on some level from professional training on a new technology or maintenance management software. Seeing a demonstration performed by a skilled and experienced user will benefit all of the workforce. In addition, it will allow employees to ask questions, seek advice and learn tips or secrets to using the software or tool to its greatest potential.
Having a multi-generational workforce offers many benefits, from diverse approaches to an issue or task to the unique skill sets of the different groups. Learning to see the differences as a benefit and managing them as such will increase the team’s productivity as well as the skills of each individual team member. Cross training, peer mentoring and multiple types and styles of training are a good idea within any team of workers, but it can be especially beneficial to a multi-generational workforce.