The UK’s CIPD, in association with Penna, recently produced a comprehensive report based on a survey of over 5,500 individuals across 6 European countries and focus groups within more than 30 major UK employers. Their findings confirmed that there are more similarities than differences between the generations and that it is the preconceptions between generations about each other that is more the problem.
The study shows that the differentiating factors setting Gen Y apart is the influence that the reward deal has, the close connection between socialising and work, their advocacy of the employer brand (nothing new there) and perhaps suprisingly a more common interest in staying with one employer for five years than many would expect. And yet many Gen X, although perhaps seemingly more career driven, will often job-hop to make progress.
The study appears to support the messages of articles we referred to in Part One, that generationalisations of Gen X and Y are becoming blurred, we are seeing Gen Y behaviours in our Gen X’ers, etc.
The report focuses on the need to foster creativity and innovation from generational interaction and that the risk of not managing generational diversity can lead to disengagement or even conflict. One common theme to all generations was the importance of respect and dignity in the workplace. Harnessing capabilities across generations within organisations has never been more important; use of new media, social networking, entrepreneurism, customer service ethos and strong change management skills based on experience and wisdom, are sure surivival skills in the coming year.