Youngest Generation Finds Most Workplace Optimism

September 2, 2003 ( - When it comes to optimism in corporate leadership, the youngest employees see more sun than rain.

Those employees under 25 – referred to as Nexters or Millenials – are the most optimistic about company leadership and career development. This comes even though this group does not feel it has adequate authority to service customers from positions as front-line service providers, according to a survey of 27,813 employees conducted by research firm ISR.

Conversely, the Gen Xers (25-44 years old) are the least satisfied and most pessimistic about their corporate futures. Late Gen Xers, in particular, (35-44 years old) are least satisfied with their companies overall and the most worried about employment security. The study points to these attitudes are possible products of changing family structures of the 1970s and 1980s and the dramatic increase in the divorce rate.

Splitting the difference between the two younger segments of the workplace were the Baby Boomers (45-54) and Veterans (over 55), two groups the report said make up an “empowerment cliff.” Surprisingly though, even though the latter of this group should feel empowered to challenge traditional ways, its members do not exhibit any of this behavior.

On the other hand, it is the Nexters that are the most disgruntled about the shifting objectives of their companies. However, this group tends to be more conformist at this point in their career.

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