Atlanta — March 13
When it comes to the workplace, the generational gap may be much slimmer than Generation Y, or millennials, and mature employees might assume.
According to an engagement study from Randstad, the age groups that share the most workplace sentiments in common are the youngest and oldest generations. These employees expressed a more positive outlook on their careers than other demographics surveyed.
When asked about their feelings toward their current job, millennials and mature workers responded more favorably than other respondents across the board, according to the study. In fact, 89 percent of mature workers and 75 percent of millennials say they enjoy going to work, and a majority of both groups say they feel inspired to do their best at work.
These workers additionally perceive a higher morale in the workplace than other age groups, with 69 percent of millennials and 64 percent of mature workers finding a positive energy at work, compared to just a 53 percent average among other generations.
To be sure, some differences remain. The two age groups expressed drastically different opinions when asked about plans to transition to a new employer. A majority of millennial respondents would give serious consideration to a job offer from another company (57 percent), and 47 percent would proactively seek out a position with a different employer.
But only 20 percent of mature workers would consider making a career move this year, and even fewer (12 percent) would look for a new job, according to the survey. This may be in large part due to the fact that mature workers are typically already established in their careers, while millennials are characteristically in more of the early stages.
In the Randstad study, generational insights and perspectives around the workplace were additionally supplemented with broader views on the state of the economy.
A majority of both millennial and mature workers believe the job market will pick up in 2013 (67 percent and 55 percent, respectively).
However, the millennial generation feels significantly harder hit by the recession. Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe the economy has negatively altered their career plans, compared to only 35 percent of mature workers sharing the sentiment.
Other notable findings:
The top engagement activities for all age groups were offering promotions or bonuses to high-performing employees and being flexible in terms or hours or working arrangements.
Millennials are more likely to feel that social or team-building events are effective engagement strategies, while mature workers are more likely to view the encouragement of opinion-sharing as an effective way to build employee engagement.
More millennials find it difficult to disconnect from work while at home — 52 percent, compared to a 45 percent average. However, these younger workers are more likely to believe the blurring of lines between work and home has increased productivity — 50 percent, compared to a 37 percent average.