An intergenerational approach to work

How can employers promote intergenerational working and bridge the generation divisions? Bayer spoke this week about their global approach.

Multigenerational Team


This week is Global Intergenerational Week. So what makes for better intergenerational working in a world of ever-growing divisions?

A webinar this week heard how one pharmaceutical firm is making a difference. Ruth Shah is Global Co-Lead of Merge, Bayer’s multigenerational business resource group. Merge is all about age diversity and aims to leverage the full potential of every generation in the workforce. Each chapter around the world is autonomous, but the group has three overarching strategic pillars: networking, leadership, learning and development, which is about age diversity education, and multigenerational voice activation which ensures every generation is heard. These pillars are linked by a cross-generational One Bayer approach that focuses on countering stereotypes

Shah gave some examples of work being done. When it comes to networking, she spoke about how the Ladies League in Europe organised an internal conference to connect talent. Partnering with the women’s career development business resource group they brought together new talent and senior leaders.

With respect to leadership, learning and development, she cited an example from Brazil where an internship for people over 40 was launched. In Switzerland and Canada, Merge groups had launched a Merge Talk Coffee Club which encouraged dialogue about topics such as pension planning. Other examples included a virtual mentoring programme where employees could choose between traditional, reverse and mutual mentoring.

When it comes to voice activation Shah mentioned Young Advisory Boards – shadow leadership structures that give younger workers experience of decision-making within the organisation. Another example was the Decision and Empowerment Circle which brings together different generations to discuss what they want from their working lives.

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