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Is Happy Hour 9-5? A Cross-Generational Look At Employment Enjoyment
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Is Happy Hour 9-5? A Cross-Generational Look At Employment Enjoyment

Whether we like it or not, working is a fact of life for most of us. As the saying goes, “A happy employee is a productive employee.” And more productivity leads to higher profits. So we asked Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers around the world to think about their jobs and tell us how satisfied they are with everything from compensation and workplace comradery to job loyalty. Across a sample of respondents from 60 countries who said they are currently employed, satisfaction levels highlight workplace trends worth paying attention to.

In this fourth of a five-part series about the differences between how generations live, eat, play and save, we focus on how consumers work.

Work Life Ways And Woes

Among 10 job-satisfaction factors, more than half of global Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomer respondents are satisfied with their occupations, work environment, co-workers, work/life balance and boss—and sentiment mostly increases with age. On the flip side, and perhaps not surprisingly, less than half are satisfied with income and other medical, retirement and savings-plan benefits—and sentiment largely declines with age.

How can employers help create a better balance between work and compensation perceptions? A little praise can go a long way. And rewards and compensation do not always need to be monetary. Creating a workplace environment of mutual respect and recognition helps employees feel valued.

Is Job Loyalty A Thing Of The Past?

The days of employees spending their entire career with one employer are likely over. That sentiment rings especially true with younger respondents, as Millennials are roughly two times more likely to leave a job after two years, 1.5 times more likely after five years, and half as likely to stay after 10 years , compared with Gen X and Baby Boomer respondents.

From recruitment and job training costs, employee loyalty is vital for successful business operations.  Build a sense of job ownership with employees by making them an integral part of team decisions. Diverse thinking and attitudes leads to better—and usually more creative–ideas.

Other findings from the Global Generational Lifestyle Report include:

  • The majority of older respondents turn to TV to get the news, but the medium still holds sway for nearly half of Millennial (48%) and Generation Z (45%) respondents
  • Older respondents show higher levels of being distracted by technology at mealtime than younger generations
  • While TV has universal appeal as a popular spare-time activity among all generations, more respondents in Generation Z selected reading as a favorite activity than watching TV
  • More than half of Generation Z and Millennial respondents (52% and 54%, respectively) want to live in a big city or urban neighborhood
  • Approximately half of younger respondents say they save money each month, but they aren’t confident in their financial futures

The Nielsen Global Generational Lifestyles Survey polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to better understand how global consumer sentiment differs across life stage. For the purposes of this study, respondents are segmented into five life-stage classifications: Generation Z (age 15-20), Millennials (21-34), Generation X (35-49), Baby Boomers (50-64) and Silent Generation (65 and older).

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Generational Lifestyles Report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Generational Attitudes was conducted Feb. 23-March 13, 2015, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion.