Multigenerational workers find common ground in wanting financial security, work-life balance
- The desire for financial security and rewarding work is a common theme across generations, according to a new report from CompTIA, a technology association. Nearly half of the 1,000 business professionals in the report, "Managing the Multigenerational Workforce," also want a better work-life balance.
- Despite overall agreement on employee well-being across generations, the report found that 71% of millennials say an organization's view of technology will influence whether they want to work there. Comparatively, 66% of Gen Xers and 53% of baby boomers feel similarly. Disparities between the ages on the use of cloud-based platforms also emerged in the report. A little more than half of millennials indicated they use cloud-based tech tools for word processing and spreadsheets, compared to just a third of baby boomers.
- The report also found that the different generations still harbor stereotypes about one other. About two-thirds of baby boomers think younger workers aren't as loyal and nearly 60% think younger workers feel entitled. Slightly more than half of millennials said they see older workers as too rigid and set in their ways, and almost half of Gen Xers think older workers aren't as technologically savvy.
Workplaces today have more generational diversity than ever before. As CompTIA reported, millennials make up the bulk of the workforce with 56 million workers; Gen Xers follow with 53 million; and baby boomers come in last with 41 million. The challenge for employers is maintaining a work environment that meets employees' needs at various life stages and avoids bias against any one age group.
Disengagement costs employers between $450 and $550 billion annually and often lowers retention. The risk is greater in a tight labor market, which pressures employers to do more to attract and keep quality talent, while avoiding "brain drain" that can occur when seasoned, knowledgeable workers leave for a better job or to retire. Employers must cultivate and rely upon an inclusive culture that respects all generations, employs effective communication (which can be aided by technology), recognizes recognition of workers' achievements, and incentivizes them based on generation-based preferences.