bridging the generation gap
BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP IN THE WORKPLACE

In today’s society, the workforce is primarily multigenerational. This means that for the first time in human history, there are multiple generations actively engaged in the workforce i.e. the Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 – 1964, Generation X born between 1965 – 1980 and Millennials born between 1980- 2000. Each generation has different thoughts and beliefs unique to the time period in which they were brought up. It is important to acknowledge that these generational differences exist and thus synergise them for a more conducive and productive work environment. This article looks at some of the ways to bridge the generation gap in the workplace.

  1. CREATE A KNOWLEDGE SHARING CULTURE

The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

-Andy Rooney

Older workers hold immense knowledge, and as they head towards their golden years, loads of valuable information, skills and lessons are lost. This in turn creates a knowledge vacuum that cannot be easily filled; however this does not have to be detrimental.[1]

Have programs where veteran employees can teach various courses and showcase their knowledge and expertise to the younger employees. The younger generations are used to being stimulated constantly and it’s wise to offer development coaching and training programs to keep them growing and learning new things. The older generations can mentor them by including them in meetings, client interactions and new business pitches. When employees feel trusted and valued it boosts their commitment, motivation, and loyalty.[2]

  1. FOCUS ON INCLUSIVITY

The Millennial generation has often been described as lazy, self-centred and entitled. Living with the burden of this generalised assumption can be demotivating and may even discourage some from taking part in collaborative projects. It is important to note that millennials have grown up in a world driven by the internet and social media which has created a need to feel included and to share their opinions.

As an employer, try to engage them and listen to their views and pose questions about their ideas and how best to execute them. Ensure to include them in meetings and decision making processes where possible.[3] Many Millennials have grown up in an environment that promotes diversity. They focus more on the willingness of a business to embrace and include a diversity of ideas and perspectives within a positive and supportive culture. If you create a culture of diversity that recognises past and current perspectives, your workforce will be more engaged and more productive.

  1. APPRECIATE WHAT EACH GENERATION HAS TO OFFER

The beauty of having a multi-generational work place, is each of these generations bring knowledge and skillsets unique to their life experiences.

The older generation for instance, view work as a privilege and value loyalty and respect for authority figures. This means that they work hard and believe in company loyalty. They value the bond and partnerships formed over time and are optimistic and disciplined,  – they are strong team players. They tend to have strong technical skills and are generally more independent than previous generations. The Millennials in the workforce are more entrepreneurial and tech savvy. They tend to want independence and may be motivated by security and development. Multi-tasking also comes naturally for this group. This is the first generation to come of age during the rapid growth of the internet. They are considered to be among the most resilient in navigating change with an appreciation for diversity and inclusion. Millennials are generally the most educated generation of workers today.[4]

  1. ESTABLISH EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION METHODS

Communication is important because it bridges the gap between individuals and groups. Effective and regular communication is not a trait that’s exclusive to one generation, but employees may communicate differently and at different times depending on their age.

These differing communication preferences can lead to mixed messages and misunderstandings in the office. A younger employee may send an email addressing a disagreement with their older manager or colleague when the older party thinks they should have a formal meeting. Not only does each generation communicate with varying frequency, but they’re using different means to communicate as well. Be sure to offer several means for communication, both formal and informal and ensure that everyone understands the best way to air issues and problem solve.[5]

  1. AVOID ONE SIZE FITS ALL MANAGEMENT

Managing generationally diverse employees also means that you need to switch up your managerial styles accordingly. For example, having a management plan that is millennial-friendly might make their seniors feel out of place and lead to a decrease in their productivity. The reverse is also possible.

When managing the Millennials in the workplace, be sure to focus on the quality of their work rather than the hours they spend working. Additionally, provide guidance and learning opportunities for them to grow and improve their skills. For the older generations, provide leeway for them to work without close supervision as they prefer autonomy. They also value recognition for their hard work and skills.[6]

As time goes by and people continue to age, generational shifts are inevitable. Managing and supporting multigenerational employees can sometimes be difficult. However, with a proactive leadership approach, these generational differences can be an added strength and source of innovation to the company. Generational differences are tremendously advantageous and with these few tips, you can achieve the full potential of your diverse workplace.

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://ideas.bkconnection.com/bridging-the-workplace-generation-gap-in-your-organization

[2] https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/general/four-solutions-to-bridge-the-generation-gap-in-the-workplace/

[3] https://resources.workable.com/stories-and-insights/millennials-in-the-workplace

[4] https://www.digitalhrtech.com/generational-differences-in-the-workplace/#How

[5] https://www.business2community.com/human-resources/5-ways-to-bridge-the-generation-gap-between-employees-02292982

[6] https://www.paychex.com/articles/human-resources/how-to-manage-multiple-generations-in-the-workplace

5 tools for working remotely
TOOLS FOR WORKING REMOTELY (Part 1)

Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goals.

 –Mario Andretti

Dealing with a global pandemic also means that we all must learn to adapt to the changes around us and make the best of things. Government issued lockdowns and curfews have led many companies to switch to remote working to ensure that work still gets done. Luckily there many tools available to ease the transition from the office environment to working remotely. Find out about these handy tools in this blog post.

  1. SKYPE FOR BUSSINESS

Skype for Business is a trusted enterprise solution designed by Microsoft to enable efficient communication in companies and connects employers, employees and customers effectively around the globe. It combines phone calls, video conferences and messaging services into one entity to increase efficiency and promote business growth.[1]

Some of its features include:[2]

  • HD video streaming
  • High level security through data encryption to protect valuable company data
  • Video conference options that can accommodate up to 250 meeting attendees

A major advantage of this software is that it does away with travel and communication costs with its video conference option. Additionally, the software is secure, very user friendly and portable – it can be accessed on many devices as long as a Wi-Fi connection is available.[3]

  1. EVERNOTE

Evernote is a free app for your smartphone and computer that stores everything you could possibly imagine losing track of – a boarding pass, receipt or article you want to read. You can create a to do list, or even a simple typed note. The app works brilliantly, keeping everything synchronised between your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The app is also ideal for managing projects and productivity.[4]

For companies, Evernote Business is available and allows teammates or members of a company to access, upload, share and edit notes from any device. This app is especially resourceful for those who are working remotely because it automatically syncs up with all your devices when you add or upload new content. This means that you are not limited or tied to just one machine.[5]

  1. GOOGLE DRIVE

It goes without saying that running a company results in the generation and collection of large amounts of data. Therefore, companies need a safe and reliable place to store all this data – in comes Google Drive.

Google Drive is a cloud-based software application that lets you create, store, and share documents and data from around the world in one place. This is ideal for companies as it enables teams to access files from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. Additionally, it is possible to edit documents and get replies and feedback and therefore increasing collaborative productivity. It is also protected by SSL encryption that operates on both Gmail and other Google services so you can rest assured that your valuable data is safe.[6]

  1. HUBSTAFF

As an employer, when making the transition to remote working, you’ll want software that can keep track of employee’s work hours, progress and productivity as easily as it’s done in the office.  Hubstaff is a time tracking and work management app built to help teams make the most out of their time, build trust, and provide accountability. 

Once the app is running, it monitors which websites and applications your team is viewing, their screen activity, and how much time they spend at their desktop. It then gathers all this data and creates individual reports for all your employees. Your team members can also track how much time they spent on a particular task or project.[7]

  1. HEADSPACE

When working from home it can sometimes be difficult to disconnect after a long day of meetings and work tasks. Headspace is a meditation and healthy living app that aims to reduce stress, improve mindfulness, and save remote workers from burn-out. It’s important to step away, especially when working from home.

Studies have shown that taking time to practice stillness and meditate using the Headspace app can increase focus by 13%. Meditation also promotes increased awareness, clarity, compassion, and a sense of calmness.[8]

The right remote work tools will make you and your remote colleagues more productive. They’ll also allow you to experience the human connection of office work, while preserving your freedom to work from home. For any companies making the transition to working remotely, try out these efficient tools to ensure success.

Found this helpful? Try this: Working from home: How to do it successfully

If you’re a manager/business owner check this out: How to manage remote employees: best practices

As Usual, The Manpower Company (TMC) is here to support you and your business through this unprecedented time. With innovative consultancy, guiding you is what we’re here for. Let us know what you need in the comments below or email: info@tmc.ke

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/definition/Skype-for-Business

[2] https://www.nimble.com/blog/skype-for-business/

[3] http://www.freedomcomms.com/blog-post/skype-for-business-advantages-and-disadvantages/

[4] https://lifehacker.com/whats-all-the-fuss-about-evernote-should-i-be-using-it-5964285

[5] https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-evernote-3485736

[6] https://www.goskills.com/Office-Productivity/Articles/Google-Drive-features-review

[7] https://hubstaff.com/faq

[8] https://www.headspace.com/meditation/benefits

Tips for effective group meetings
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE GROUP MEETINGS

If not properly steered, meetings can be notoriously unproductive and a big waste of time in office culture. We’ve all been there; where one person speaks up and derails the meeting, or where people aren’t quite sure why they’re there and leave the meeting still unsure of what the meeting was about. So, how do you avoid unnecessary and inefficiently run meetings? How do you ensure that all your meetings are productive? Here are some tips to help you out.

  • ENSURE THAT THE MEETING IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY

It is important to figure out if the meeting is even necessary in the first place. Some things by their very nature, are not a good use of group time. If items are sensitive or require significant back and forth or clarification, then these can be a great use of meeting time.[1]

  • DECIDE WHO WILL BE PRESENT DURING THE MEETING

When scheduling a meeting keep in mind that it will take up people’s time. It is a common misconception that if you schedule say, a one-hour meeting with four people and this meeting ends up being unproductive then you have only lost one hour. This is in fact not the case because, four individual people lost an hour of work time which adds up to four hours of lost time.

With this in mind, it is therefore much easier to decide who needs to be present for the meeting to minimise time wasting and maximise productivity.[2]

  • HAVE AN AGENDA

Set expectations with meeting attendees and have a clear objective for the meeting. It is important to think about what the purpose of the meeting is. Is the meeting a brainstorming session? Do you need to communicate specific information? Or do you want to make an important decision?[3]

After establishing the purpose of the meeting, ensure that you communicate this agenda to those who will take part in the meeting. This will ensure that even before the meeting begins everyone will know exactly why they’re there and how they should prepare.

  • ESTABLISH SOME GROUND RULES

Setting ground rules is an integral part of ensuring successful meetings because they establish a safe and productive environment. Ground rules detail the code of conduct for a meeting and the team, explaining the behaviour that’s expected of all participants. Have rules to regulate when meetings begin and end, how participants should handle their responsibilities in the meeting and how they should treat each other e.g. being respectful of each other’s opinions etc.[4]

  • ACTIVELY MANAGE THE MEETING

Even after going through the process of setting out an agenda for the meeting, you still have to actively manage the meeting to ensure that you stay on track. A lot of times people will unintentionally go on tangents and veer off topic. Try to steer the meeting back to the main agenda to avoid wasting time.[5]

Actively managing a meeting also means that you are getting equal representation and input from all the participants. If you notice that some participants are speaking more than others and dominating the discussion, make a point of calling out those who are more quiet and encourage them to share their input. If a usually quiet person speaks, show your appreciation. Try to draw everyone in and not just let the usual suspects speak.[6]

  • SUMMARISE AND AGREE ON THE NEXT STEPS

During the meeting, agree on the next course of action and then document this. Take note of the tasks assigned to specific people. After the meeting send out a brief summary of the meeting and what was agreed upon. This will promote accountability and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Doing this also makes the meeting time more actionable and productive. [7]

Meetings are an effective way to bounce ideas around and increase productivity in your organisation. They also help boost team spirit and encourage active participation. It is therefore important to ensure that you do your best to make them as efficient and productive as possible. Apply these simple tips and start having more effective group meetings.

Check out: How to get your team out of a creative rut

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2014/02/05/seven-steps-to-running-the-most-effective-meeting-possible/#364c656d7a61

[2] https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-know-if-there-are-too-many-people-in-your-meeting

[3] https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-lead-a-team-meeting-2275935

[4] https://hbr.org/2016/06/8-ground-rules-for-great-meetings

[5] https://www.skillsyouneed.com/rhubarb/keep-meetings-on-track.html

[6] https://liberationist.org/how-to-encourage-participation-in-meetings/

[7] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02295-z

How to hire an intern graphic
How to Hire an Intern

An intern is a trainee who signs on with an organisation to gain some work experience, or for a  course requirement and/or, to get a general feel of the industry they are interning in. Contrary to popular belief, interns can play an integral role in growing your company. When hiring an intern it is important to hire a person that you can learn from; a person that has the ability to execute tasks and contribute to the company. In this post you’ll find everything you need to know about hiring an intern.

  1. KNOW THE LAW

When hiring an intern many questions arise – what tasks should they do? Should they be paid? Are they entitled to any work benefits? Like in any case, it’s important to know the law. Thus, ensuring their rights are protected and their duties are clearly spelled out.

Section 2 of the Employment Act states that an employee is a person employed for wages or a salary and includes an apprentice and an indentured learner. An intern is therefore not an employee. However, there are guidelines set out by the government regarding the rights and duties of interns. These guidelines can be found in the Internship Policy.

Payment of interns for instance, is an issue that is constantly in question. It is important to distinguish between paid and unpaid interns and who exactly fall in these categories.

  1. CREATE AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Before you hire interns for your company or organisation, you must first define the specific job and the skills your internship program will feature. Set up training courses so that the interns can have an opportunity to learn how to perform various tasks within the company and grow their skill sets.[1] Have the intern set out specific goals and learning objectives they hope to achieve through the internship as well. This will motivate them to take the program seriously and give them a sense of responsibility and accountability.

It’s also important to look at your organisations’ needs and determine what you hope to achieve with an internship program. This will ensure that the internship is an educational and rewarding experience for both the intern and the organisation.[2] Commonly, companies use these programs to recruit talented graduates as employees before they’re snatched up by the ‘talent-deficient’ market. This is as much an opportunity for your organisation, as it is for the student interns.

  1. LOOK FOR POTENTIAL

Potential is a hopeful word that looks to the future. It is the ability to transform. The term “Potential” is typically used to suggest that an individual has the qualities to effectively perform and continually contribute in broader or different roles in the organisation. When hiring interns, pay close attention to those who show great enthusiasm for their work, and have the drive and ability to improve.

When hiring interns, ensure you identify those with the highest potential and maximise on this.[3] Untapped potential in robust youthful interns is a resource you cannot afford to miss out on.

  1. SELECT A SUPERVISOR

Interns are in your office to learn and it is exceptionally beneficial and fulfilling to step into the role of a mentor. When selecting a supervisor, find someone who enjoys teaching and mentoring others and also understands the ins and outs of the organisation.

Supervisors are also important because they will help in orienting the interns and enable them to familiarise themselves with the company.[4]

A good supervisor is patient and can come up with quality work assignments for the interns. This supervision will further provide the company with information on the intern for future hiring.[5]

  1. REVIEW APPLICATIONS AND INTERVIEW

When looking to hire an intern make sure to carefully look over their application papers. Hire interns who are interested in your particular field. Related interest can often lead to higher performance levels. Interns who enjoy their duties tend to execute with greater enthusiasm. Passion yields positive results.[6]

Interviews are a great way to find out an intern’s passion and interest in your company and whether they are a good fit for your organisation.

Remember that the purpose of hiring interns is not to exploit them for cheap labour or, to shove them in a corner and give them pointless work to pass time. Internships are programs that are supposed to give students meaningful work experience and the opportunity to prepare for the job market. Interns provide you unprecedented, first hand access to the next generation of employees, they’re quite literally the future of your organisation. If you understand the role interns play in your brands sustainability, you must invest in them as a resource.


Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://www.internqueen.com/how-start-internship-program-your-company

[2] https://careers.usc.edu/employers/recruit-interns/learn-how-to-develop-an-effective-internship-program/

[3] https://talentguard.com/how-to-maximize-employee-potential/

[4] http://info.parkerdewey.com/supervising-interns

[5]http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/ExperientialLearning/foremployers/Pages/Steps.aspx

[6] https://mileiq.com/blog/hire-intern-small-business/

title - why human resource is the ultimate resource
WHY HUMAN RESOURCE IS THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE

Today’s world is seemingly rife with entrepreneurial minds looking for the fastest route to a million – competition is everywhere. Monetising your own services, hobbies and talents is so common. It’s easy to forget the value other people can bring you. Fact – Healthy, educated and motivated people develop resources per their requirements i.e. only people can give value to anything by making it useful. Here’s three reasons human resource is the ultimate resource:

Team, Product, Success – In that order:

Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have created success by cultivating a working environment with three key ingredients – qualified staff, resources and the freedom to create. Alongside genuine innovation, more companies would approach the phenomenal success created by ‘the big three’ if more directors built the ‘right’ teams to research and experiment, and afforded them the freedom to find the “golden angle”.

In an unprecedented experiment, Microsoft Japan tested out a four day work week and the results were what you would expect. Employees were happier, meetings more efficient and productivity rose a staggering 40%. While you may not have the significant resources Microsoft does, the principle remains the same – we are all people and should be treated as such. Benefit packages, paid time off and open door policies are a myriad of ways your human resources department can boost creativity and productivity in your employees.[1]

Invest in them and they’ll invest in you.

Brilliance attracts brilliance:

You might find yourself asking – What if I invest in my employees and they leave? Consider the alternative – What if you don’t and they stay? People coming and going is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. It’s a reality you’ll continually have to accept, regardless of ‘who’ you are. The only thing worse than a valuable employee leaving is paying for an unproductive, uncreative and uninspired employee. It is your duty as an employer to create the best environment for your employees to flourish. Do that and your company will attract the brightest minds without much effort while happy customers sing praises of your excellent products and services.

Diversify your team, Diversify your portfolio:

Conglomerates have proven time and time again that diversified investments are a sure way of making money in what can be risky and unpredictable industries. Think Louis Vuitton, Moët and Hennessy (LVMH) who’s reach spans massive fashion houses like Fenty, Bulgari and Dior to renowned distilleries like Moët and Hennessy![2]

Organisations should openly embrace ‘business diversity’ because people are creative! Encourage them to experiment, fail and learn. If the result is that a company will produce multiple concepts and products isn’t it worth it to find a team capable of doing just that from the very beginning? [3]

Now that you realise all you have to gain by recruiting and training the best, you’re wondering – What now? While we still maintain that the best environments attract the best employees, sometimes you need a head start. We strive to deliver the most innovative human resource solutions to add value to our customers. Whether you have a position that needs filling or a team you would like to invest in, here at The Manpower Company, we believe in people.

Follow us on Facebook at “TMC Kenya” for even more insights.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/04/microsoft-japan-four-day-work-week-productivity

[2] https://www.lvmh.com/

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2015/10/08/4-reasons-to-invest-in-people-not-companies/#7e95d7e247cb

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