The results of a new survey measuring the impact of generational differences in the workplace seems to indicate that age groups mostly agree on what makes a strong workplace culture. The report, produced by Mavenlink, finds all age groups feel strongly that work/life balance is the most important element.
“The economy is increasingly service-based, a paradigm that requires agility and speed to meet client demands,” said Ray Grainger, CEO and co-founder, Mavenlink. “Without a positive and productive workplace culture, however, it’s difficult for services firms to deliver exceptional client experiences. Our research highlights how important it is to build a culture all age groups can embrace. The survey findings also show how closely aligned different generations are, results that might run contrary to popular belief.”
Generations Largely Agree on What Makes A Work Culture that Engenders Success
All age groups indicate that a work/life balance (62% of all respondents) was the most important element of a successful work culture. Team-building activities (34% of all respondents), continuous learning (30% of all respondents), and a collaborative environment (27% of all respondents) were other popular responses. While all age groups agree upon much of what makes a strong work culture, there are a few notable differences.
- Despite making headlines for not wanting to work hard the 18 to 24-year-old age group was the least likely cohort to select work/life balance as an important aspect of company culture.
- Respondents aged 35 to 44 were the only group to rank “continuous learning” (32% vs. 30% across all ages) as a top-three most important element of a successful culture.
- The 18 to 24-year-old group was more likely than any other group (40% compared to 34% overall) to rank team building activities as important.
Employers Need a Multifaceted Approach to Building Culture
While all age groups generally agree on the elements of a work culture that breeds success, there are some nuances in their responses. Organizational leadership should take care to address these differences with a multifaceted approach. Luckily for organizational leadership, respondents highlighted their preferences for how to create a more inclusive, productive work culture.
- Twenty-nine percent of all respondents feel more training would help make them more productive. This is more true for the 25 to 34-year-old age group (31%) and the 45 to 54-year-old age group (31%). Even people who are further along in their careers feel more training would be beneficial. Leadership can help address these concerns by providing more training-related activities for their employees.
- More than one-third (36%) of all respondents feel more flexibility would make them more productive. Building an office culture that allows for flexibility would help ameliorate concerns of those who believe flexibility is an important part of a work/life balance.
- Thirty-two percent of 35 to 44-year-olds responded that a manager/mentor/company leadership keep them at their jobs, vs. 27% for all respondents. Ensuring individuals who value mentorship have access to that kind of guidance can go a long way.
The research reveals that different age groups have nuanced preferences about how they’d like their work environment to feel. The survey also uncovers key elements for a productive workplace culture that ring true across all demographics: work/life balance, team-building, and continuous learning.
This online survey was conducted by Atomik Research, which surveyed 1,002 individuals employed full-time who work in a business/corporate environment in the United States during September 2019. The full report will be released in early 2020.