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Millennials – A New Study Shows That They Are More Similar Than Different

Posted by Patrick Lynch on January 3, 2017

millennials at work.jpgIn a great two blog series from SMD titled “Millennials – Why All The Fuss?” they take an analytical look at differences between millennials and other generations (boomers and Generation X).

There key findings were that millennials have far more similarities than differences with the other generations that are engaging with in the workplace.

SMD has taken a data driven approach to this study and their analysis is based on quantitative research.

 What did the research tell us?

Here are the highlights from the SMD two part blog series:

SMD measured five drivers of employee engagement. The results below show that there is very little difference between the generations in terms of their importance rankings.

Baby Boomers

Generation X

Millennials

Senior Leadership

Mission

Management

Teamwork

Occupational Safety

Senior Leadership

Mission

Management

Occupational Safety

Teamwork

Senior Leadership

Mission

Teamwork

Occupational Safety

Management

 

The top two engagement drivers for each generation were the same and in the same order of strength of relationship (largest beta weights). Those were Senior Management and Mission.

The remaining three drivers were the same for each generation, but with a slightly different priority order when examining size of beta weights from largest to smallest.

One notable difference was that in this specific sample, management was the least important factor in millennials’ level of engagement among these five factors, whereas it was the third most important for Boomers and Gen X.

SMD also examined the key factors of voluntary turnover and found that the drivers on why employees chose to leave or stay with their organizations did not differ between generations.

SMD also discovered that Millennial’s use of social media did not dramatically differ from the other generations. In terms of LinkedIn usage they found that the heaviest users were age 34 and older. Their analysis of online content consumption and smart phone usage also did not show any statistical difference.

The study concluded that:

In all seriousness, the concerns with millennials are not totally invalid.

They just need to be considered for what they are; these are concerns or factors that are more associated with young adults entering the workforce, regardless of their generation.

We saw almost the exact same conversation around Generation X 10 years ago. They were called slackers, cynics, and job-hop­pers, much like we hear about millennials. However, once they got their footing in the working world we found that they were less slacker and more innovator, creating their own career paths and bucking their stereotype.

I think we are seeing the same thing happen with millennials.

Every time a new generation starts entering the workforce, the more tenured generations have to explain away what they don’t un­derstand.

Unfortunately, the first inclination is usually to complain that they are not measuring up and don’t have as much to offer as those who came before them. When you consider young adults versus more experienced, older adults, of course they will have a lot to learn and will likely see the world a little differently than their more mature counterparts. But the world for them is different and their views and perspectives may just provide a breath of fresh air – if we just give them a little benefit of the doubt.

They’ll figure it out … just in time to start complaining about the next generation to come along.

A special thanks to SMD. Here is some information about them.

SMD is the only firm in the survey and analytics industry to offer results-based
pricing. By utilizing our expertise in data integration, surveys, and the most
advanced analytics, all delivered through our patented reporting and action
planning platform, we’ve maintained a remarkable track record of improving
business outcomes (e.g., voluntary turnover reduction) for our customers. Learn
more at www.smdhr.com and contact us at info@smdhr.com 

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Topics: Millennials

           

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