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Study: Millenials Attitudes on Age and Capability

Gen Y workforce
Gen Y workforce

If you are an employer seeking good talent, you know by now that Gen Y or Millennials comprise a key component of your hiring strategy. Unfortunately, like all employees, you have to nurture them and provide development, guidance, equitable compensation, and opportunities for growth. Retention is also important and Millennials have a unique set of expectations when it comes to what keeps them motivated. A 2014 study from national staffing company Spherion provides insight on Millennials and how their attitudes match up with their counterparts in the workplace (Gen X, Baby Boomers, etc.). The following are some highlights from the study:

  • Under normal circumstances, roughly one-in-four employees makes judgments about his or her supervisors’ or co-workers’ abilities to do their jobs based upon age. For Millenials, nearly four-in-ten (39 percent) feel this way, far more than any other generation.
  • About one-quarter (24 percent) of workers agree/agree strongly that the age of their supervisor influences their perception of his/her capability to do their job. Millennials are significantly more influenced by age, with 40 percent agreeing/agreeing strongly that the age of their supervisor influences their perception.
  • Nearly two-in-ten (14 percent) of workers judge their co-workers and their capabilities based on their age alone. Millennials are twice as likely to believe this, with 29 percent indicating so.
  • 43 percent of workers agree/agree strongly that “my career opportunities are limited because of my age/generation.” Generation X workers are least likely to believe this, with only 28 percent agreeing/agreeing strongly, while Baby Boomers were the most likely (55 percent).
  • 40 percent of workers agree/agree strongly that “I have greater opportunities available to me because of my age/generation.” Millennials are the most likely by far to believe they have greater opportunities available to them because of their age, with 61 percent agreeing/agreeing strongly. Baby Boomers are least likely to believe this, with 26 percent indicating so.

Granted, perceptions and attitudes toward others always vary with each generation. What is significant about Millenials is that this group is very large, and they have the willingness to express their opinions openly without always thinking about the consequences.

The point is companies must embrace this segment of the workforce as the future rank-and-file majority. If certain belief and judgments exist around job skills and potential for growth, it’s important to establish good feedback mechanisms to help Millenials grow, accept what others bring to the table, and provide a platform whereby they can build next generation organizations.

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