Generations X, Y and Boomers and their attitude towards work: separating myth from reality – Results of a CROP-Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés survey

Do different generations of workers have different attitudes towards work? That’s what a CROP survey set out to discover. The results will be disclosed by the Ordre des CRHA et CRIA du Québec (Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés) at its annual conference that opened today.

General attitude towards work
According to the survey, nine workers out of ten are very (50%) or somewhat (42%) satisfied with their present job.

Interestingly enough, no significant differences were noted between the different generations, or between employees and self-employed workers.

Scale of values
Few significant differences were noted as to how the various generations viewed the importance and value of their work.

A large majority (96%) of respondents considered work an important value, with 47% ranking it as “very important,” and 49% as “somewhat important.”

  • The slight percentage difference between “very” and “somewhat” shows that that respondents who were satisfied with their work also considered their work to be very important (58% versus an average 47%).
  • To determine where they placed work on their scale of values, respondents were asked to rank it and six other factors. Family took first place, with 91% of respondents claiming family to be “very important” in their lives.
  • Work placed fifth, trailing family (91%), sense of responsibility (84%), respect for authority (55%) and leisure (53%), but ahead of career (32%) and money (28%).

The survey also showed that:

  • 44% of respondents who said they were somewhat dissatisfied or dissatisfied with their work felt money was very important, compared to 28% of all respondents;
  • 64% of those who were very satisfied with their work ranked respect for authority as a very important value (compared to an average 55%);
  • career was considered to be very important by 44% of respondents aged 18 to 28 and by 41% of respondents who were “very satisfied” with their work (compared to an average 32%).

Motivation
The survey results also showed that a large majority of workers (90-95%) feel motivated by their work:

  • 95% replied “totally” (68%) or “somewhat” (27%) to feeling motivated to give their very best to their job;
  • 92% said they liked their work: 64% very much, 29% somewhat;
  • nine out of ten respondents fully agreed (56%) or somewhat agreed (35%) that their work gave them a feeling of personal accomplishment;
  • in addition, only 41% totally agreed (20%) or somewhat agreed (21%) that work is a source of income not a source of personal satisfaction; and
  • most employees were very (59%) or somewhat (34%) motivated to contribute to the success of the organization where they worked and to helping it attain its objectives.

It was also interesting to note that the different generations had very similar attitudes toward motivation.

“It’s encouraging to see that no significant difference was noted among the different generations, neither in their attitude towards their work nor towards motivation or the place work occupies in their lives. These results dispel some pretty deep-rooted myths, particularly about young workers,” concluded Florent Francoeur, CHRP, President and CEO of Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés.

The results of the CROP-Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés survey will be available tomorrow, October 5 at www.portailrh.org/presse.