Thursday, September 13, 2012

Survey Reports Generations in Workplace Respect Each Other

In advance of its September 28, 2012 symposium on “America’s Aging Workforce: A Fairfax County EDA Symposium,” the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority has release the results of a survey it commissioned, finding that, despite a demographic shift that is making the nation’s workforce older, working Americans from different generations--Baby Boomers and their Gen X and Millennial counterparts--value each other in the workplace to a surprisingly high degree. Specifically, "[m]ore than nine out of 10 of those surveyed agreed with the statement: 'the best workforce is one that has a good contingent of younger and older workers,' with 92 percent of employees aged 18-34 and 95 percent of employees aged 55+ concurring."

Of employees aged 18-34, 69% said that both older workers and younger workers were equally valuable in their own right, a sentiment echoed by 78% of employees aged 55+ and 77% or those aged 35-54. In addition, both workers and their managers agreed that no amount of enthusiasm can replace experience in the workplace.

While most of those surveyed believe that their company’s leadership is prepared for an aging workforce, with more managers (70%) than rank-and-file workers (59%) thinking that is the case, there was evidence that stereotypes persist: "Most managers and workers agree that, in general, older workers are more resistant to change in the workplace. Younger employees are much more likely (80 percent) to think so than their middle-aged (71 percent) and older (62 percent) colleagues."

Source: Fairfax County Economic Development Authority News Release (September 13, 2012)

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