87 percent of U.S. workers say a multigenerational workforce increases innovation and problem solving.
Randstad US survey explores the business benefits and challenges of an age-diverse workforce
ATLANTA - August 7, 2018 - Randstad US today released results from its quarterly Randstad Workmonitor Q2 2018 report on the impact of a multigenerational workplace. According to the data, nearly all (90%) respondents prefer having colleagues of different ages and say this variety is mutually beneficial. However, the study also found communication is often where the alignment between generations breaks down.
age is just a number
Although most workers prefer an older manager, an inspirational manager trumps age:
- Although 84 percent of workers say the age of their direct managers is not important as long as they are inspirational, 76 percent surveyed prefer their direct managers be the same age or older.
- Younger workers apparently see the value that a more tenured manager can bring, as 92 percent of workers aged 25 to 34 agree they’d rather have an older boss.
the intergenerational communications barrier
Communication is where generational differences are most keenly felt:
- Eighty-one percent of workers agree the primary difference between generations in the workplace is communication styles.
- More than a third of workers (38%) admit they find it difficult to communicate with coworkers who are not in their own age group.
- Men are nearly twice as likely as women to report difficulty communicating with coworkers outside of their generation (49% of men, versus 27% of women).
tailoring feedback is a must
The majority of workers feel their managers are generally effective in managing and working alongside employees from different generations, but there may be room for improvement:
- Eighty-three percent of workers say their direct managers are talented at working together with various generations.
- Fifty-eight percent say their direct managers treat colleagues from various generations differently. Whether this is perceived as a positive thing or not varies from person to person, but it is clear that managers should tailor their communication styles to individual team members.
more workers prefer to connect with colleagues than their bosses on social media
Younger workers are particularly engaged with colleagues on social channels:
- Fifty-four percent of employees connect with their colleagues on social media, while only 33 percent connect with their direct managers.
- Perhaps not surprisingly, the numbers increase with younger generations: 75 percent of workers aged 18 to 24 report being connected with colleagues on social media compared to just 33 percent of workers aged 55 to 67.
“Part of the challenge of managing effectively is knowing how to relay your message, which requires understanding the individual communication styles of the people on your team and how they approach their work,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer for Randstad North America. “There are more generations in the workforce than ever before, which has resulted in a greater variety of expectations around workplace communication. People in different stages of their lives and careers are also motivated in different ways, and managers must work to tailor feedback to help individuals maximize their potential.”
To learn best practices for managing a multigenerational workforce — and to learn what different generations want in the workforce — please visit managing a multigenerational workforce.
about the randstad workmonitor survey
The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003 and now covers 34 countries around the world. The study encompasses Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Published quarterly, Randstad Workmonitor highlights local and global trends in mobility – and makes them visible over time.
The study is conducted online among employees aged 18–65 who work a minimum of 24 hours a week in paid (not self-employed) roles. The minimum sample size is 400 interviews per country. The Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel is used for sampling purposes. The second survey of 2018 was conducted April 23–May 14, 2018.
Randstad North America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad N.V., a €23.3 billion global provider of flexible work and human resources services. As a trusted human partner in the technology-driven world of talent, we combine the expertise and passion of our employees with some of the most innovative HR technologies on the market today to advance the careers and business success of our candidates and clients.
Randstad’s North American operations comprise 5,700+ associates and a deployed workforce of more than 100,000 in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to staffing and recruitment, Randstad offers outsourcing, consulting and workforce management solutions for generalist and specialist disciplines, including technology, engineering, finance and accounting, clinical and non-clinical healthcare, human resources, legal, life sciences, manufacturing and logistics, office and administration and sales and marketing. Global concepts available to North American client companies include RPO, MSP, integrated talent solutions, payrolling and independent contractor management and career transition services. Learn more at www.randstadusa.com or www.randstad.ca.
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