Millennial, boomer workers have more in common than you think
It’s OK boomer versus OK millennial. Or is it really? Aside from the popular social media memes of millennials being regarded by their elders…
It’s OK boomer versus OK millennial.
Or is it really?
Aside from the popular social media memes of millennials being regarded by their elders as lazy and boomers being regarded by the younger set as out of touch, how do people within those generations really feel about each other in the workplace?
Olivet Nazarene University polled more than 2,000 workers in both generations, and found that in many cases, the stereotypes don’t always match up with reality – though in some cases, perceptions still persist.
What are some things that most annoy? For baby boomers, its millennial coworkers’ smartphone use (48 percent), sense of entitlement (41 percent) and laziness (35 percent). For millennials, it’s their older coworkers’ “know it all” personalities (52 percent), sense of entitlement (47 percent) and egos (34 percent).
On the flip side, what are some things worthy of praise? Millennials find their boomer coworkers to be dependable (42 percent) and punctual (41 percent), with the ability to have a keen eye for detail (26 percent). For boomers, they find their younger colleagues to be positive (34 percent), problem solvers (32 percent) and accountable (24 percent).
Olivet also asked about company loyalty and found a disconnect between perception and reality. While 91 percent of millennials say boomers are loyal to their employers and only 60 percent of boomers say the same about millennials, the survey found that in reality, both generations “are willing to head for greener pastures.”
“According to respondents, 84 percent of millennials and 75 percent of boomers say they would leave their current company for more money,” Olivet writes. “And they plan to leave sooner than you might think. One-third of millennials and 39 percent of boomers say they plan to leave their current job within the next six months.”
However, 60 percent of boomers say that companies are loyal to their employees, while only 40 percent of millennials feel the same way.
When it comes to promotions, 30 percent of millennials say they feel they’re being held back by an older colleague and a quarter have quit their job because of an older boss, manager or colleague.
“However, it appears to be millennials who are the most responsible for pushing colleagues out of the workplace,” Olivet writes. “According to boomer respondents, 36 percent have quit their job because of a millennial boss, manager or colleague and more than half (52 percent) have experienced age discrimination in the workplace.”
The survey also found that there are generational differences about some workplace preferences – as well as some similarities. Millennials prefer to communicate with coworkers via email, while boomers prefer face-to-face conversations. On the other hand, both generations have the same preferences for how they would like for their work to be scheduled, with both prioritizing a typical 9-to-5 workday, followed by a four-day week, flex scheduling and remote work.