PRESS RELEASES

Want the Job Done? Ask a Gen Xer

LOS ANGELES, February 23, 2016 — An executive survey released today by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, reveals the heads down, get-the-job-done attitudes and priorities of Gen X employees (born 1965-1980).

When asked which generation is the most engaged in the workforce, more than half of respondents (52 percent) said Generation X. Baby Boomers and Millennials were tied at just under 25 percent.

“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,” said Andrea Wolf, Futurestep’s North American Practice Leader, Human Resources.

The survey found that the largest number of respondents (39 percent) 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 percent 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 percent said “a sense of pride in their work” with “financial stability” coming in second and “organizational culture” coming in third.

“We find that generally speaking, Gen Xers have different priorities in the workplace than their younger millennial colleagues, who usually place much higher priority on the culture and vision of companies for which they work,” said Wolf. “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. As a result companies need to value their ideas and opinions and give them a voice.”

When asked which benefits are most important to Gen Xers, the top answer was “pay and bonuses” at nearly 50 percent. Only 25 percent 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,” said 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 percent of respondents cited millennials. However, results suggest that doesn’t matter much to Gen Xers, as only 15 percent of respondents said being recognized for their contributions was a top priority.

“To increase productivity and quality, one needs to understand generational characteristics and learn how to use them effectively in dealing with each individual,” said Wolf. “One of the best approaches for Gen Xers is to give the tools and resources they need to do their jobs well.”

About the survey

There were 1,070 responses to the global survey, which took place from Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, 2016. Full results are as follows:

What matters most to Gen X employees (born 1965-1980)

Job stability16 percent
Income8 percent
Promotion opportunity7 percent
Ability to make a difference in the organization39 percent
Development opportunities15 percent
Being recognized for their contributions15 percent

What benefits are most important to Gen X employees (born 1965-1980)

Retirement plans19 percent
Medical plans8 percent
Pay/bonuses48 percent
Paid time off25 percent

What makes a Gen Xer stay in a job (born 1965-1980)

Fear they won’t find anything better7 percent
Financial stability24 percent
Have a sense of pride in their work41 percent
Income5 percent
Company culture23 percent

What makes a Gen Xer choose one job over another (born 1965-1980)?

Belief in the reputation and vision of the organization31 percent
Income/benefits10 percent
Stable company/small chance for layoffs5 percent
Ability to make an impact on the business48 percent
Flexibility6 percent

On average, what generation do you believe is most engaged in the workforce?

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)23 percent
Gen X (born 1965-1980)52 percent
Millennial (born 1981-1995)23 percent
Gen Z (born after 1995)2 percent

What generation gets the most attention in the workplace?

Baby boomers (born 1946-1964)4 percent
Gen X (born 1965-1980)27 percent
Millennial (born 1981-1995)58 percent
Gen Z (born after 1995)11 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions.

More information on Futurestep can be found at www.futurestep.com.

Contact Us:
Tracy Kurschner
Public Relations Manager
Tracy.kurschner@kornferry.com

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