A view of generational mix in the workplace

The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey conducted by leading American-based international recruitment firm, Kelly Services. Managed in conjunction with the Kelly Group, the survey has revealed interesting revelations about generational perspectives of the workplace as it currently stands. Generation X and Y-s, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation all had valuable things to say about a broad range of topics concerning the workplace. From leadership to social media, the Kelly Global Workforce Index gives a concise overview of where our generational workers stand in the world of work.

Generations on the Move

“While those who fall within different generations come from diverse eras each with their own unique set of values, beliefs, hopes and dreams, the Kelly Global Workforce Index reveals that they are not so different after all. With seven out of every 10 generation X-ers surveyed ready to change employers and 68% of baby boomers planning to seek new employment next year, it seems safe to assume that the generations of individuals currently participating in the global workplace have more similarities than one might believe,” explains Kelly Group CEO, Gareth Tindall.

New Beginnings

“The question we need to ask ourselves is why are those who fall within the age categories of Generation X and baby boomers looking for change. Generation X-ers were born between 1965 and 1980 and came of age when their mothers were joining the workforce in large numbers, creating double-income families. Employees from this era seek work-life balance and show more flexibility when it comes to changing jobs. On the other hand, Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964, feel they still have room for growth. Predominantly in their fifties and sixties, baby boomers are work-centric, goal-orientated and competitive. With this in mind, what needs do current employers need to consider fulfilling?” suggests Tindall.

“More than six out of 10 Generation X workers possess a professional or technical skills set, 31% are middle managers and a further 10% are senior executives, which is significantly higher than among any of the other generations. With this in mind, it makes sense that more than seven out of 10 workers in Generation X feel they can secure a similar or better position. Add to this the fact that 38% are seeking more inspiration from their leaders and we begin to understand why this generation is so upwardly mobile,” explains Tindall.

Balancing Act

While a large percentage of workers in both the Baby Boomer and Generation X categories are ready for change it would seem that their motivation to do so is also a common denominator. Four out of 10 Generation X-ers cite personal fulfilment and improved work/life balance as the primary driver behind their need for change. This sentiment is echoed by Baby Boomers but it is here where the similarity ends.

“Over half of the Generation X-ers interviewed feel they are in high demand. Baby Boomers on the other hand are less likely to feel they are in demand in the workplace and do not feel in a strong bargaining position. The bottom line is that mature workers still need to sell themselves in the workplace because they have a lot to add to a world of work that is in constant need of experience,” says Tindall.

Leadership that Inspires

No matter their generation, the majority of those who participated in the Kelly Global Workforce indicated a need to be inspired by company leadership. It would seem that all employers should seek to lead by example in their efforts to retain staff both young and mature.

This is an unedited statement by Kelly Group.

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