AETHOS Consulting Group has released a report examining the real-time career priorities of Generation X versus Generation Y. And, guess what, the findings are strikingly similar in more ways than you might think!
Based on a survey of respondents who were recently hired or actively interviewing, hospitality advisory firm AETHOS Consulting Group has released a report examining the real-time career priorities of Generation X versus Generation, as they approach the talk-about-town question: “What millennials want”? Also known as “Generation Y” or “Echo Boomers,” the findings of the survey reveal the two generations are almost identical in their primary career priorities, raising another question: Are we surprised?
When we consider that work-life balance, direct cash compensation, standard benefits and a sense of purpose were rated the highest across both groups, according to the report, the findings are not so surprising. However, the nearly 10-year narrative that “Gen Y” is all about career choices may need considering now that previous generations appear to be after the same thing!
“Studies often confuse attitudes with intentions,” said Nina Gold, AETHOS manager and co-author of the report.
“It is important to understand that the two are not synonymous, as an individual’s general attitude towards an issue turns out to be a poor predictor of actual, specific behaviours,” Gold continues.
So, where do GenX and GenY differ?
According to Dr. Jim Houran, Managing Director of AETHOS Consulting Group and co-author of the report, it’s mainly in how rigidly they hold their priorities. “GenY is often characterized as the ‘me generation’ – implying they want it all and right now. However, the AETHOS study contradicts this view. It shows that GenX individuals tend to be more uncompromising in what they are looking for, whereas Millennials seem more flexible in achieving the same outcomes.”
“It seems that the way many sources speak about Millennials is actually more descriptive of GenX,” adds Houran.
“However, GenY did tend to emphasize work-life balance slightly more, while GenX emphasized a need for constant advancement or boost in career status and workplace control. So, while the two generations agree on general priorities, there are still interesting nuances to consider.”
Interestingly, the report concluded that the “disrupting force” of GenY is perhaps best regarded as an urgent wake-up call for many organisations.
Why not start thinking and treating employees as highly-valued individuals? We could start by focusing on understanding their idiosyncratic motivators, then, devise innovative platforms that best leverage their aspirations to keep them personally and professionally engaged… Is this “What Millennials Want”?