Millennials and older employees born before 1946 share similar attitudes regarding the work force as both feel positive about their careers, according to the latest Engagement Study from Randstad.
Specifically, 89 percent of older respondents and 75 percent of millennial respondents say they like going to work on a daily basis while 95 percent of older respondents and 80 percent of millennial respondents report feeling inspired to perform their best in the workplace. Morale is also higher among both segments as 69 percent of millennial respondents and 64 percent of older respondents say they feel positive energy at work, higher than a 53 percent average among other generational groups.
Still, these two respondent segments have their differences.
While 57 percent of millennial respondents say they would seriously consider another employment opportunity and 47 percent say they would proactively search for new careers, only 20 percent of older respondents say they would consider a change this year, and 12 percent say they would look for new positions. Randstad suggests this could be attributed to the fact that many older respondents are established in the workplace, but millennial respondents are just getting started.
"As the average age of retirement continues to increase, employers are not only seeing a wider generational gap amongst their employees, but they are also seeing more generations sitting side by side in the workplace than ever before," says Jim Link, managing director for Randstad US. "It is critical for companies to take note of the distinct characteristics, motivations and perspectives each cohort possesses as well as the overlaps in attitude and workplace desires. In looking at our study findings, companies can dive into what engagement and retention drivers are aligned and not aligned across the different generations to identify and prioritize the largest opportunities to improve employee engagement within their organizations."
Sixty-seven percent of millennial respondents and 55 percent of older respondents believe the job market will improve this year, but millennial respondents seem to feel they have been hit harder by the recession. In fact, 59 percent of millennial respondents say the economy has hurt their careers as opposed to 35 percent of older respondents.
For all work force generations, the top engagement activities are promotions or bonuses and flexible work arrangements, the survey finds. Social or team-building events are more effective for engagement among millennial respondents, and encouraging open communication is more valued by older respondents.
When at home, 52 percent of millennial respondents say it is harder to disconnect from work in comparison to 45 percent of other respondents, though 50 percent of millennial respondents say this increases productivity as opposed to 37 percent of other respondents. Millennial and older respondents both consider flexibility, computer proficiency and leadership to be the three skills necessary to grow their careers.
Some have noted that the move to expand family leave policies has mostly been adopted by tech firms and very large employers. But others think the popularity of the idea will result in it being adopted on a fairly wide scale.