Generational differences must be accommodated to ensure optimal employee engagement

Posted On October 8, 2013

A new survey by Ceridian, reported in MarketWatch, highlights the changing expectations and desires of the different generations in the workplace.  The results demonstrate that generational perspectives have a very real impact on the way employees engage with your business.  Understanding and adapting to the generational difference can make a difference in the employee engagement, job satisfaction and company loyalty.

According to the survey, non-monetary rewards are extremely important to the youngest generations.  While salary certainly counts, 64% of respondents overall and 70% of Millennials wanted to see their companies offer perks such as free personal days, free food and access to event tickets (shows, concerts, sports, etc.).  These are the extras that make the work environment more interesting.

The study also found that employees simply want interesting work.  39% are motivated by interesting work, 32% by autonomy and 31% by a good salary.  Interestingly, Boomers and Millennials put the strongest rating around interesting work.  As we’ve discussed, Millennials are the ones whose parents told them to “go out and find a job you love” and those parents are frequently Boomers.  Xers, many of whom are deep in the throes of child raising, rated good pay as the most motivating factor.

So how did survey respondents suggest you could make their jobs more rewarding?  Flexible work hours, more training opportunities, telecommuting options and clear growth plans, with the opportunity to take on additional (more interesting?) work.

Are you adjusting your formal and informal policies to reflect the changing desires of your workforce?

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Generations, Workplace