Execs Say Gen X Cares Most About Getting Job Done

When asked which generation is the most engaged in the workforce, more than half (52%) of executives surveyed by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry said Generation X. Baby Boomers and Millennials were tied at just less than 25%.

The survey found that the largest number of respondents (39%) say that the “ability to make a difference in their organization” is most important to Gen Xers in the workplace. That’s nearly double the percentage that cite “job stability” or “development opportunities.”

Nearly 50% of respondents said that “the ability to make an impact on the business” is the top reason why a Gen Xer would choose one job over another. When asked why they would stay on the job, 41% said “a sense of pride in their work” with “financial stability” coming in second and “organizational culture” coming in third.

“Gen Xers tend to focus less on the environment around them and more on accomplishing their work goals and contributing to the success of the business,” says Andrea Wolf, Futurestep’s North American Practice Leader, Human Resources.

When asked which benefits are most important to Gen Xers, the top answer was “pay and bonuses” at nearly 50%. Only 25% said “paid time off.”

“Talk to a Gen Xer about his or her vacation, and they’ll say they’re too busy to take one, or they had to cut it short because of work,” says Wolf. “Employers may want to consider rewards other than extended vacation time to attract and retain this group.”

When asked which generation receives the most attention in the workplace, nearly 60% of respondents cited Millennials. However, results suggest that doesn’t matter much to Gen Xers, as only 15% of respondents said being recognized for their contributions was a top priority for this generation.

“While members of each generation are critical to the workforce and their diversity of thought brings new ideas and insights to companies, organizational leaders would benefit by harnessing and rewarding the hard-work habits of Gen Xers,” says Wolf.

Complete results of the survey can be found here.