Navigating and Benefiting from a Multi-Generational Workforce - Carolina Country
From Alice Ashe, Director of Human Resources February 2020
From Alice Ashe, Director of Human Resources
February 2020

We at Brunswick Electric know that our employees are our members’ greatest asset. We can only achieve the operational excellence you deserve and the efficiency you demand through teamwork.

Our employees work together in the field, in the call center, and throughout the organization to achieve best outcomes. And your co-op, like many workplaces, is now more generationally diverse than at any time in history. As more employees are choosing to delay retirement, BEMC teams today can be comprised of as many as four or five generations, each with their own perspectives, experiences and expectations. So it was important for us to determine how BEMC could best navigate and benefit from these differences.

Navigating the inter-generational mix requires a combination of respect, valuing individuals based on their merits rather than stereotypes, and acknowledging the attributes of each cohort group. Just as younger workers should respect older generations’ seniority and experience, workplace veterans must respect the talent, contributions and potential of younger generations.

Benefiting from this age diversity meant developing and implementing a plan for the transfer of institutional and industry knowledge; how to best retain, share, store, and organize our intellectual assets as some of our long-time employees approach retirement.

As part of our cross-training efforts, we have BEMC employee Baby Boomers, those according to Pew Research born between 1946 and 1964, and those in Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, working side-by-side with their younger counterparts, sharing knowledge and experience, as well as learning from their younger counterparts.

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, comprise the biggest part of the country’s workforce, and are a large percentage of BEMC’s as well. Our CEO Joshua Winslow falls into the latter group, and he benefits from 15 years of institutional knowledge passed to him from previous generations of cooperative leaders, while also understanding and appreciating the ideas of his generational peers and new workforce generations. Finally, we are just beginning to welcome Generation Z, those born after 1996, as new hires and the eventual future of our organization.

These are a few of our strategies for thriving within a multi-generational workforce. We will continue to value and build on each other’s skills and experiences so that we can continue to serve you with superior service and reliability.

Importantly, just as we honor the generational differences in our workforce, we recognize and respect the same differences in our membership. We know that different segments of our membership are looking to us for unique solutions to their energy needs. We will do our best to work with everyone, from our newest members who are just starting out, and those who are new to the area, to those with growing families, as well as long-time members, on solutions that make your life better and our communities stronger.

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