- While most HR leaders may think millennials as the most likely to be more motivated at work by a sense of purpose, the actual reigning champions on that front are baby boomers (46%) and Gen X (32%). Their younger millennial counterparts (24%) scored significantly less, according to a recent survey.
- The Staples Business Advantage 2016 Workplace Index also reports that employers must cater to all five generations in today's workplace – Generation Z (under 18 years old), Gen Y/millennials (18-33), Gen X (34-50), baby boomers (51-70), and in some cases even the Greatest Generation (over 70), as each age group is inspired and motivated by different benefits and programs.
- As a result, it’s critical for employers to avoid stereotypes and understand what their employees want out of their workplace, according to the Index.
HR leaders are constantly being challenged to figure out how to drive engagement while balancing the needs of the five existing employee demographic groups, and as this study shows, it's not easy. Mainly, it's very important for employers to understand the desires of the three primary generations in the workplace – millennials, Gen X and boomers. For example, the Index reports that 50% of millennials, 40% of Gen X and 35% of boomers say burnout is motivating them to consider changing jobs (and employers).
What can employers do? They can look to decrease workloads and/or provide more time for tasks and projects. They can also offer more work-life balance and job flexibility, such as telecommuting. Another interesting aspect of the Staples Business Index findings is all generations reported that working in a five-generation workplace is "more fun, creative, inspiring, trusting, and fosters an environment of learning,” according to Jacob Morgan, the co-founder of the Future of Work Community who works with Staples on the Index.
That's something HR leaders should factor into their benefits and HCM decisions, depending of course on their own specific demographic breakdown.