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Canada’s Multi-Generational Workplace: Trust Transcends Age

Canada’s Multi-Generational Workplace: Trust Transcends Age

Recent research conducted by Great Place to Work suggests that despite reported challenges in managing generational differences in the workplace, all employees are really looking for the same things, pointing to a simple strategy for creating a great place to work for all, regardless of age. 

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Trust is the foundation for quality jobs and workplace excellence. Whether a person is beginning their career at age 24 or heading out at age 64, employees of all ages want to trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do and enjoy the people they work with. This definition of a great place to work transcends age, job type, geography and culture.

So it is not surprising that among the Best Workplaces in Canada, those recognized for high levels of trust, we also see more inter-generational similarities than differences in workplace experience and motivation.

DIFFERENT…

Yes, our study revealed that some generational stereotypes hold true. Millennials are more likely to seek out fun and personal connection in the workplace. Although employees of all ages want to believe their work has a ‘higher purpose’, millennials need to see community action from both their organization and colleagues. And compared to their older colleagues, millennials are much less likely to build a long-term career at one workplace - no matter how great it is!

Mill1*Numbers represent percentage of employees, by generation, at the Best Workplaces in Canada that responded positively (or agree with) the corresponding statements.

Mill2

*Numbers represent percentage of employees, by generation, at the Best Workplaces in Canada that responded positively (or agree with) the corresponding statements.

YET THE SAME

The good news for employers? A workplace culture built on trust and respect appeals to all generations, and they’ll be willing to go the extra mile for the good of the organization.

This same data revealed many similarities among the generations. People of all ages are expecting (and experiencing) ethical behavior from their senior leaders. And whether they have caregiving responsibility for kids or parents (or just themselves), millennials, Generation X and baby boomers all have a similar need to balance their work and personal life.  

Mill3

*Numbers represent percentage of employees, by generation, at the Best Workplaces in Canada that responded positively (or agree with) the corresponding statements.

Mill4*Numbers represent percentage of employees, by generation, at the Best Workplaces in Canada that responded positively (or agree with) the corresponding statements.

DON’T OVERSIMPLIFY GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES

Canada’s Best Workplaces for Millennials highlight that there are certain motivating factors – such as relationship building, career development and community involvement – that millennials seem to value more than their older colleagues and there are simple steps employers can take to make their workplace more attractive to this age group. However, age groups are not homogeneous, and employers cannot overlook individual differences based on background, culture or life experience. The best way to appeal to all age groups is by creating a great workplace for all employees based on trust, pride and camaraderie. 

In keeping with Great Place to Work findings, Keith Neuman, Executive Director of the Environics Institute, stresses the importance of not oversimplifying generational differences and their implications for the workplace: “Our recent research on the social values of Canadian millennials confirms that while this generation may share a common age bracket, they are not all alike in their orientation to the workplace and to life in general. This is an important reminder to employers to avoid treating millennials as if they are all the same.”

WANT TO CREATE A WORKPLACE CULTURE BUILT ON TRUST?

Read the Business Case for a High-Trust Culture and contact us to learn more about our High Trust Culture Consulting