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Sample of survey findings from BridgeWorks Generations Survey
Excerpt from
When Generations Collide...

by Lynne Lancaster & David Stillman

Here's just a sample of survey findings from BridgeWorks Generations Survey* Click here to download a printable version of the survey.

How the generations are viewed...
  • One-third of respondents said they were often offended by someone from another generation at work.
  • 24% of Traditionalists, 30% of Baby Boomers, and more than 60% of Xers said their generation is not viewed positively by the other generations.
  • When asked which generation they felt most comfortable managing only 14% chose Generation X, and this included the Xers themselves!
Employees are dissatisfied...
  • One-third of Gen Xers said that for them to stay another two years in their job either "hell would have to freeze over" or "there would have to be major changes made."
  • 43% of Boomers said they lack opportunities to be mentored where they work. And, 30% of Boomers said that not having a mentor contributes to their job dissatisfaction.
  • 40% of Traditionalists said their company does a poor job of making them want to stay.
Loyalties are different...
  • 40% of Xers said having a mentor directly influenced their decision to stay at their current company.
  • When asked who they are most loyal to at work, Xers put co-workers first, their boss or projects second, and the company last.
  • Xers' number one reason to stay was "autonomy."
  • Boomers' number one reason for staying was "making a difference."
  • Traditionalists' number one reason for staying was "loyalty to clients and customers."
  • 70% of Traditionalists said that a "lifetime career" with one company was a good goal, while only 35% of Boomers and a mere 17% of Generation Xers agreed.
  • The majority of Boomers said it would be easier for them to recite the ingredients in a Big Mac than their company's mission statement!
Feedback is challenging...
  • 90% of Xers said they want feedback immediately or within a few days. But...
  • Almost 30% of Xers said they receive their phone bill more often than they get relevant feedback!
  • 50% of all respondents said they had ever received any training in how to give feedback.
Training is an issue...
  • 45% of Boomers and 48% of Traditionalists agreed that "training opportunities play a role in my staying at my company."
  • When asked, "Have you ever left a job because of a lack of training opportunities?" only 3% of Traditionalists said "yes" compared to 15% of Boomers and 30% of Xers!
Career paths are important...
  • 29% of Traditionalists agreed that a person should build a lifetime career with one company, compared to 14% of Boomers and just 11% of Gen Xers.
  • 60% of Traditionalists said they do not have a clearly defined career path where they work.
  • When asked what activities convinced them that their company is concerned about their career development, 31% of Traditionalists said "they don't seem to care."
  • Yet, when asked what they are likely to do when they formally retire, 73% of Traditionalists said they planned to continue working in some capacity.
  • When asked if they would feel comfortable talking with their manager about a different career track within the company," one-third of Traditionalists said "no."
Balance and fairness are issues...
  • When asked "Which generation is the best at finding work/life balance?" all three generations picked Gen X.
  • Over half of respondents agreed that, "when it comes to compensation and benefits where I work, we have issues about fairness."
  • Twice as many Traditionalists felt that employees' needs for balance are not handled with fairness as Boomers or Xers.
* “Our 2001 survey involved several hundred respondents from all regions of the country and a variety of ethnic backgrounds. We deliberately reflected a broad range of industries, including the public, private and nonprofit sectors."

Copyright Lynne Lancaster & David Stillman. All Rights Reserved.

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