CHICAGO, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Mature workers 55 and over are more likely to say their organization inspires the best in them than are younger workers (18-34 years old) by a margin of 43 to 28 percent. This could help to explain why a higher number of mature workers (53 percent) say they are willing to put forth more effort than their young colleagues (43 percent). Both findings come from a just-released nationwide survey of 7,718 American workers aged 18 and over. The "New Employer/Employee Equation Survey" was conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc. for Age Wave, an independent think tank that counsels business and government on issues impacting the aging society, and for The Concours Group, a global consultancy to senior executives. It was sponsored by 24 leading corporations. "Companies have to wake up to the fact that their young workers -- their managers and skilled professionals of tomorrow -- are the most dissatisfied and least engaged workers today," said Tamara Erickson, executive officer of the Concours Group. "At the same time, workers approaching retirement are the most energetic, focused and loyal. The question companies need to answer as we approach a skilled labor shortage is, 'How do we better engage the younger workers while retaining the older workers, or at least postponing their retirement?' " The study indicates a large gap by age group in workers who describe themselves as "extremely satisfied." 19 percent of mature workers are extremely satisfied vs. only 11 percent of mid-career workers and only 9 percent of young workers. While 68 percent of mature workers have some level of satisfaction with their jobs, that number drops to 57 percent for mid- career workers and down to 55 percent for young workers "Across the board it's fairly startling to us that the stereotype we normally attribute to youth -- energetic, passionate, inspired -- actually fits better with today's older workers," Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. of Age Wave, said. "A surprisingly large percentage of young workers -- our future business leaders -- are going through a work/life crisis and their employers don't seem to be paying much attention. At the same time, many older workers who are extremely loyal and productive are being sent out to pasture. And in the middle, tens of millions of boomers are overwhelmed by their family pressures and are struggling to re-ignite their careers." Longevity equates with engagement. 64 percent of mature workers say they really care about their organization vs. only 55 percent of mid-career workers and 47 percent of young workers. "Helping to explain the prevalence in the more negative sentiments among younger workers is the study's finding that 47 percent of them are coping with feelings of burnout and 35 percent are feeling at a dead end in their current jobs," said Ken Dychtwald. "The findings are similarly high for mid-career workers but plummet to only 28 percent of mature workers coping with burnout and only 19 percent feeling at a dead end." Young workers are more stressed outside of work with 20 percent saying that they are overwhelmed with responsibility versus 14 percent of mid-career workers and 11 percent of mature workers. 70 percent of young workers are struggling through financial issues and 25 percent are struggling with relationship issues. "Over the years we've asked more and more of the American worker," said Tamara Erickson. "Employers have passed a line, in the minds of younger workers, and have somehow broken the employer/employee contract. If employers don't figure out a new contract and how to reengage their human capital, the best will simply walk away." The pool of young workers is more ethnically and racially diverse than its elders. The diverse workforce population increased from 12 percent of mature workers, to 24 percent of mid-career workers, and to 49 percent of young workers. Some of the study's major conclusions by age group are: Young Workers (18 - 34 years of age) The youngest segment of the work force is the least satisfied and least engaged segment of the workforce. They are struggling both in the work place and at home more than employers might imagine. Young workers are actively looking to make a job change and are the most personally and professionally mobile to do so. Mid-Career Workers (35 - 54 years of age) Workers with ten years of service under their belts say they are working more and enjoying it less. They are the age group that is most dissatisfied with management and their organization's management climate. Their work responsibilities are peaking at the very same time as home life responsibilities. Mature Workers (55+ years of age) By far the most satisfied and engaged segment of the workforce. Mature workers identify with their organizations and share similar values. They are inspired and passionate about their work. Mature workers want to work, but on their terms and not in place-holder jobs. About Age Wave Under the leadership of Founder Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave guides Fortune 500 companies and governments in product/service development for boomers and mature adults. http://www.agewave.com About The Concours Group The Concours Group works with senior executives at more than 300 of the Global 1000 to master critical issues in management and to turn human capital and technological potential into business value. http://www.concoursgroup.com About Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Inc., the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results. http://www.harrisinteractive.com NOTE TO EDITORS: To obtain the full results of The New Employer/ Employee Equation or to schedule an interview with Ken Dychtwald, Tamara Erickson or Bob Morison, please contact Jim Prendergast at The Dilenschneider Group, 312/553-0700 (JPrendergast@dgi-chicago.com).
SOURCE Age Wave