Thursday, February 26, 2009

The one thing employees want at work

You may have to throw out any previous notions you may have on the differences between workforce generations, because a new study is showing that employees of all age groups are more alike than we may have thought.

Employees in every workforce generation all agree that what they want at work is a little respect, according to the AchieveGlobal Study on Multigenerational Workforces.

The study revealed that respect is the top rated job attribute across all ages in the workplace and that there are “considerably more” similarities among workforce generations than we know. The new research challenges findings released last year that suggested generations differ greatly in their workplace values and what they want at work.

The study analyzed responses from more than 500 international participants from Generation Y (29 years old and younger) to Traditionalists (64 years old and older). It provided insight to common workplace questions, including:

  • Do employees want to be treated differently regardless of their age?
  • Do regional differences affect how employees want to be treated in the workplace?
  • Do project assignments involving people of different ages hinder job performance?
  • Is an employee's workplace behavior and attitude influenced by age?

From Training Magazine:

The findings, which buck conventional wisdom, reveal that there is little sensitivity to age differences and multigenerational teams. Additionally, there is an overall ambivalence to suggestions that age influences the way people behave in the workplace.

The similarities among generations are further demonstrated by questions that asked employees to rate the most valued attributes of a job: In all but one generation, respect was singled out as the most valued attribute.

"As workforces become leaner in our current economy, managers would do well to focus on developing employees' personal skills and fostering an environment of collaboration," says [AchieveGlobal CEO Sharon] Daniels. "Inherent in multigenerational workforces is a diversity of experiences and expertise. Now is the time to encourage employees to value each others distinct talents and uses similarities and difference to build opportunities in the future."

If you’ve been searching for new employee incentive ideas to get your employees motivated, maybe what you really need to do is listen to Aretha Franklin. Hand out a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T around the office and watch what happens.

Read the full report at

1 comment:

Mary Lorenz said...

Good call. I recently touched upon this idea myself in a post over at The Hiring Site about how one of the best things you can do for your employees today is give them a say in company decisions. I don't think there's any bigger sign of respect than showing your employoees you actually listen to and value their opinions by asking for their input - and then actually putting it into action.

If you're interested in checking out the post, it might offer some additional insights:

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