“The idea that younger workers are not as engaged or motivated as older workers is interesting from a management perspective, but may be shortsighted,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer at Workplace Options. “The attitudes reflected in this poll may stem, in part, from the responsibilities younger workers typically have as more junior employees, but this is certainly a trend to monitor.”
“The new challenge for managers is not only finding ways to engage millennials in workplace culture, but also bridging the gaps that exist between employees of different age groups,” he explained.
A Tough Self Examination
The results of the Workplace Options poll show that while older workers are not yet impressed with the work ethic of their younger counterparts, millennials do not completely disagree with their colleagues’ overall assessment.
Among only millennial respondents:
“Compared to the results across all age groups, these self-assessments do not paint a completely different picture,” Debnam said. “Workplaces are currently going through a ‘changing of the guard’ with new technology and new ways of doing business being implemented every day. As these changes take place and millennials grow into new roles that come with more senior responsibilities, these perceptions around attitudes and productivity will likely change across the board.”
The Technology Trump Card
Aside from the engagement aspects of the poll, 78 percent of workers agreed that millennials are more tech-savvy in the workplace than other generations, and 70 percent of all respondents (including 85 percent of millennials) consider this technological edge to be an inherent career advantage.
“Technological abilities are a sense of confidence for younger workers, as they should be,” Debnam said. “Workplace managers are now being faced with questions about how to integrate technology into their business, not only from a productivity perspective, but also for talent recruitment. Younger workers want to be able to use their skill sets, and the dynamics of the American workforce are changing rapidly to afford them this opportunity.”
The national survey was conducted by the North Carolina firm of Public Policy Polling, September 8-11. The survey polled 637 working Americans and has a margin of error of +/-3.9%.
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Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal life in order to make their lives healthier, easier and more productive. The company’s world-class employee support and work-life services provide information, resources, referrals and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care, legal and financial issues to stress management and wellness.
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