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Dialogue between generations

Philip Morris is the first company in Poland with the “Employers of Dialogue between Generations” certificate.

Representatives of four different generations meet more and more often on the Polish labor market, and such intergenerational cooperation is becoming a challenge and an opportunity for employees and employers at the same time. Philip Morris in Poland has just been awarded for its effective combination and use of the potential of different generations in the organization – Philip Morris Polska Distribution sp. Z oo and Philip Morris Polska SA have become the first in the country to receive the “Employers of Dialogue of Generations” certificate.

The intergenerational dialogue, in the light of data confirming the trend of an aging Polish society, is becoming a key element and is worth handling in a multidimensional way – also in the workplace. According to data from the Central Statistical Office, a systematic increase in the number of people aged 60 (or more) can be expected, and the population of people at this age will constitute as much as 40% of the total population by 2050. It is worth looking at this phenomenon in terms of the opportunities that the cooperation of representatives of different generations may entail, but the process remains primarily a challenge for employers in the face of the age diversity of employees at an unprecedented level. Therefore, systemic solutions are needed that will facilitate intergenerational dialogue in the workplace – preferably introduced here and now.

Dialogue of Generations at Work

This solution was chosen by Philip Morris in Poland by joining the program of Dialogue of Generations initiated by the National Institute of the Silver Economy.

“Actions to provide equal opportunities are one of the key areas of Philip Morris’s strategy in Poland. We appreciate the experience and knowledge of mature employees and the fresh perspective of those who are at the beginning of their professional career, because we know that only as a diverse team – in terms of age, gender, nationality or culture – we can effectively achieve our business goals in the process of a smokeless transformation that the company is going through. The ‘Employers of Dialogue of Generations’ certificate is a reason for us to be proud and a confirmation of the effective combination and use of the potential of different generations, but also an obligation to introduce new solutions that will facilitate and strengthen this dialogue for our employees,” says Michał Mierzejewski, president of Philip Morris Polska and Baltic States.

The Generation Dialogue Program, which is a platform for intergenerational activities in workplaces, examines the level of age diversity management skills in a given organization. The first of the elements is the signing of a declaration, i.e. a set of standards in the area of awareness of age diversity in the organization, recruitment, education and development, remuneration and recognition, health and ergonomics, and retirement – which the organization joining the program undertakes to apply. The next step is a diagnostic audit consisting of three elements: an employee survey, visits by auditors in the workplace and process research, as well as interviews with employees and representatives of trade unions. The last phase is the analysis of the existing age management programs, which allows for the assessment of the level of employer’s adjustment to the needs of various age groups.

“We decided to take up the challenge and, in a team of experienced experts, developed tools for testing the level of age diversity management. Four generations at work is a resource that can be efficiently managed, provided that you know the needs of individual age groups and the ability to build a dialogue and effective cooperation between them. Smoothing out differences between individuals and groups is not conducive to diversity. It is enough to get to know each other’s values and needs and respect them,” adds Marzena Rudnicka, founder and president of the National Institute of the Silver Economy.

If the organization has knowledge and implements programs helping to manage age diversity, employees are more motivated, and multi-generation teams are more flexible and effective in operation, which is also confirmed by numerous studies. In the face of such a dynamic aging of our society, without the effective inclusion of mature workers, the labor market may face many challenges.

“Intergenerational cooperation is a multidimensional process and requires the creation of tools adapted to both employees who are at the beginning of their career path and those with more experience. We observe that teams that are diverse in many respects (including ages) achieve higher results. Their work is dynamic, creative and effective, all thanks to their diversity. We are also happy that our organization is eagerly joined by people who are just entering the labor market, and on the other hand, we celebrate anniversaries of employees who have been with us for 20, 30 or even 50 years – this year we celebrate, for example, the 50th anniversary of work of one of the members of the Krakow factory team. These statistics for us are the best proof of the effective combination and use of the potential of representatives of different generations. Being an ‘Employer of the Generation Dialogue’ is a great honor for us, but it also obliges us to continue working on building the culture of a multi-generational organization, facilitating cooperation and exchange of experiences between generations. We hope that activities with the National Institute of the Silver Economy, regular checking of processes and implementation of new solutions will allow us to maintain the status of a place friendly to cooperation between people of different generations. As an employer that gives the opportunity to employ approx. 7,000 people in Poland, we see this as a great opportunity and we hope that other companies will also join this initiative,” says Karolina Gębura-Nowak, director of the Department of Human Capital and Organizational Culture Poland and the Baltic States.

Equality and Diversity at Philip Morris

The inclusion of activities in the area of Diversity & Inclusion in Philip Morris’s strategy is also the result of other projects in this area. This year, the company announced that it had met its global target to improve gender balance, ensuring that by 2022 there will be at least 40% female participation in managerial positions. We can also speak of success in the case of the Polish market, where this role is already played by over 45% of employed women. Philip Morris has also been certified by the independent Swiss EQUAL-SALARY Foundation for the second time since 2019. Recertification confirms that PMI pays its employees equally for equal work, regardless of gender, in more than 90 markets. The company is also introducing solutions for working parents who, under the Happy Parents program, can combine parental and work responsibilities with greater freedom. The program also supports equality parenting by providing tools to help men decide whether to care for a child. Philip Morris, undergoing the greatest transformation in its history, also supports women in the world of new technologies by cooperating with Women in Tech, an organization supporting women in the world of new technologies. The project aims to support women in particular, so that they can develop into the role of industry leaders. The organization is also part of the Champions of Change club, the idea of which is to work together to support diversity in business, inclusive activities that equalize the chances of women and men in the labor market, and to inspire others to change.

Sylwia Ziemacka
Sylwia Ziemacka
“I believe our unique selling point is that we focus on what brings us together. Poland Weekly offers something you will not find anywhere else: a truly international and unifying perspective focused on content that builds cooperation and mutual understanding. This attitude doesn't make us naïve, but it allows us to focus on mutual understanding and a search for solutions. There are so many new challenges that we are all facing, such as energy transformation, climate change and supply chain disruption, to name but a few. By working together and sharing good practices, we can achieve so much more.”