La cohabitation de plusieurs générations sur le marché du travail

Multigenerational Workforce


Michelle Branigan

Il y a présentement sur le marché du travail plusieurs générations qui se côtoient. Chacune a sa vision du monde, ses attentes et ses besoins. Nous avons des employés récemment gradués qui côtoient ceux qui sont dans l’industrie depuis plus de 30 ans. En 2016, tous les boomers sauf les plus jeunes de la cohorte, auront atteint l’âge moyen de la retraite dans notre secteur, soit 58 ans.  Que font les services publics pour gérer ces changements démographiques au sein de leur force de travail? Nous avons présentement de 3 à 4 générations qui travaillent côte à côte. Des recherches ont montré que la cohabitation des générations dans un même lieu de travail est la marque des organisations qui connaissent le succès, ont des employés plus heureux et plus productifs. Ultimement, les clients ou usagers sont plus satisfaits. 

At this particular moment, there are several different generations in our workplaces, all with different worldviews, expectations and needs. We have newly graduated employees working next to those with 30+ years in the business. By 2016, all but the youngest boomers will have reached the average age of retirement for our sector, 58, and will likely have the 30 years of experience needed to qualify for full pension. For many, that cottage is looking good.

But what does this mean for utilities trying to manage these demographic changes in their workplace? 

From boomers to generations X and Y, and even some veterans/traditionalists, we have three and sometimes four generations working side by side. Research has shown that balancing or bridging the differences between the generations in the workforce creates more successful organizations: employees are happier and more productive, which of course links to increased customer satisfaction. 

As we see the landscape for the Canadian electricity workforce change, recruitment and retention will be significant issues for employers. Knowing what employees value — be that work life balance, compensation, the opportunity to advance — will make the difference in not just getting them in the door, but ensuring they stay. We need to understand what individuals expect from their job, their boss, the organizational culture, and what they will do if they are not satisfied.

And knowing how the different generations in your organization learn and absorb new knowledge should be a key goal for your business. Senior managers must understand the subtleties of their current employee base, the knowledge and skills that must be shared before they are lost, and the best ways to communicate with an age diverse workforce.

In an industry where apprenticeship and mentoring play such a huge role, it offers an opportunity for the learning to go both ways: as younger entrants expose their older colleagues to a fresh perspective and a comfort with new technology, the older individuals provide experience and tactical “knowhow” that cannot be found in any manual. 

Your human resource strategy must recognize and address these differences in order to build an effective workforce. Don’t be afraid to engage with your workforce: find out what is important to them and allow them to provide feedback, and then share and act upon it. There is nothing worse than asking for input and then doing nothing with it. There are ways to balance the needs of all generations, and ways for them to interact and learn from each other. For every situation or story where we hear of someone complaining of “the audacity of that kid,”  or “that old guy is stuck in the 20th century,” there are multiple stories of mentoring and colleagues sharing knowledge and experiences. In our industry, the breadth of talent and skill is second to none. Ultimately, the more we learn and understand about each generation, the better we can communicate, connect and get the job done. 

The Generation Game – where are you?

• Traditionalists, sometimes called Veterans, were born between 1900 and 1945. And yes, there are still some working in our industry

• Baby Boomers, born 1946 – 1964 

• Generation X, born 1965 – 1980

• Generation Y, born 1981 – 1999 and also called Echo Boomers or Millennials

• Generation Z – the current generation being born or who are still quite young. For anyone who has teenagers, they’ll know that they already consider email and Facebook old school…

Next Month – some of the characteristics of each generation – fact or fiction?


Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada;


Related Articles

Monde en mouvement

  • Un nouveau directeur, Saskatchewan pour CanREA

    Un nouveau directeur, Saskatchewan pour CanREA

    26-janvier-2023  CanREA choisit un fervent partisan des énergies propres, Erwin Heuck, comme nouveau directeur de la Saskatchewan. L’Association canadienne de l’énergie renouvelable (CanREA) est heureuse d’annoncer que ce professionnel du secteur énergétique prendra la tête des initiatives de réseautage et de promotion de CanREA en Saskatchewan. Il dirigera le caucus de la province et travaillera… Read More…

  • FLO lancera une innovation importante en matière de recharge durant DISTRIBUTECH 2023

    FLO lancera une innovation importante en matière de recharge durant DISTRIBUTECH 2023

    26-janvier-2023 FLO, un chef de file nord-américain en matière de réseau de recharge de véhicules électriques (VE) et un fournisseur de solutions de recharge intelligentes, dévoilera un nouveau produit important durant DISTRIBUTECH 2023. Avec la croissance de la demande de VE, le nouveau produit ouvrira la voie à la prochaine génération de bornes de recharges de VE et permettra… Read More…

Formation et événements

  • 24-janvier-2023 Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) a lancé aujourd’hui avec ses partenaires Teledyne DALSA et BRP la deuxième édition de la Semaine du manufacturier qui se tiendra du 24 au 27 janvier 2023 sous le thème « Fabrique ton avenir ». Cette Semaine du manufacturier, au cours de laquelle des visites industrielles avec des… Read More…

  • 19-janvier-2023 L’Académie Lumen est un programme de formation innovateur créé dans le but de former la prochaine génération de talent de Lumen. Sa 7e cohorte entre en classe le 13 mars  prochain, pour cinq semaines. Durant ce rigoureux programme de formation, les Académicien.nes ont l’occasion de développer leurs aptitudes de ventes, d’apprendre à connaitre les… Read More…