At the 2020 WCRI Annual Research & Issues Conference, a session discussed perceptions vs reality with regard to generational differences in the workplace. The presenter was Dr Jennifer Deal, Senior Research Scientist with Center for Creative Leadership.
Her study surveyed 6000 millennials along with 7000 older professional, managerial and executive staff. The different generations highlighted in the study were:
- Baby Boomers (1946-1963)
- Gen X (1964-1980)
- Millennials (1981-1995)
- Gen Z (1996-2010)
Among the study findings:
- 69% of Millennials said the demands of work interfere with home and personal life. This compares to 61% of Gen X and 48% of Boomers. One factor is that many boomers may now be empty-nesters which lessens their home and personal life obligations.
- Average hours worked per week was higher for people in higher management positions. However, there was minimal variation between generations in hours worked per week.
- 76% of Millennials have a mentor, compared to only 41% of Boomers. However 26% of Boomers said they do not want a mentor.
- Ranking the importance of compensation, being involved in the community, and making the world a better place was almost identical across generations.
Overall the study found that in spite of perceptions to the contrary, the views across generations were more alike than different.