- Most workers (86%) think that colleagues within their age groups are respected at work, a report from the Addison Group found. In the poll of more than 1,000 full- and part-time employees, 79% of respondents said they would accept a job at an organization where more people were older than them, and 75% said they would take a job with a younger workforce. Addison Group concluded that co-workers' age has little bearing on whether people would accept a job offer.
- Ninety-five percent of respondents reported getting along best with millennials, followed by Gen X, baby boomers and Gen Z. However, 35% of respondents said their workplace culture and processes favor one generation over others, with 45% reporting that millennials are the most favored group.
- Respondents appreciated what different generations "brought to the table," as well. Gen Z and millennials are admired for being tech-savvy, Gen X is admire for its work ethic and baby boomers are respected for their leadership, the report found.
While the Addison Group highlights the mostly positive synergy between the generations, 39% employees ages 18 to 49 in a survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reported seeing an aging workforce as a negative. Addressing biased perceptions like this is not only critical to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace, but it's also part of avoiding any actions that could lead to an age discrimination lawsuit.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers 40 and older from age-based discriminated in hiring and on the job. Bias is more commonly against older workers, so employers must monitor any actions or behavior that could be seen as skewed against them. This can even include the language in job ads, like "digital native," which can discourage older workers from applying. According to recent research, 21% of workers older than 40 have report experiencing age discrimination at work. Talent professionals should also know that layoffs or promotions that disparately affect older workers could also trigger age-related bias claims.
Millennials — the largest of all generations in the workforce — reportedly are the hardest of all age groups to engage. Knowing what generally appeals to or repels certain groups of workers can help employers better attract, retain and engage them. Although employers must be careful about stereotyping groups of workers, they can better engage them by thinking about workers' needs at various life stages, Paycor CHRO Karen Crone said in a Q&A with HR Dive.
"It's not about communicating based on generations, but on the needs of the audiences. There's a different message for the first-time enrollee in a 401(k) than to one who is making catch-up contributions. The best practice is to think about the personas in your organization and what's most important to them," she said.