Data Suggests Building Trust Across Generations Requires Multifaceted Approach
Irvine, Calif. — April 30, 2020 — Mavenlink, the leading provider of cloud-based software for the modern services organizations, today announced final results from its inaugural “Future of Work” survey about generational differences in the modern workplace. The initial release focused on the importance of work/life balance and the second on pet peeves and productivity killers in the office. This data release examines the idea of trust as a pillar of strong work cultures, highlighting how important trust is to people of all ages and illustrating how leaders might work to build trust within their organizations.
Trust Important to All Generations
Respondents were asked to list their top three preferences for what enables a workplace culture that creates success. A majority of respondents (53%) selected “trust.”
- The 18 to 24-year-old (45%) and 25 to 34-year-old (46%) age groups selected trust as an important part of a strong workplace culture less often than did the entire sample of respondents (53%). This finding suggests a bit of a generational difference in terms of how important trust is to people.
“In uncertain times, it is imperative for employers to foster a work environment built on trusting relationships,” said Ray Grainger, CEO, Mavenlink. “The recent increase in the number of remote workers is an opportunity for organizations to listen to the needs of employees, provide flexible work schedules and support employee well-being. This will foster trust between employees and employers as well as build a culture that helps bridge any divide between different generations.”
Younger Employees Don’t Trust Employers to Mitigate Burnout
Today, many people seem overwhelmed with their jobs. Being overwhelmed can lead to burnout and other issues. If left unchecked, these problems can deteriorate the trust employees are able to place in their employers. This global-health crisis has highlighted tenuous relationships many people have with their jobs. However, even before this pandemic, that fact was on full display: Respondents noted the following concerns with their jobs, concerns that can easily damage relationships with employers:
- All but two of the people surveyed are “employed full-time,” yet 54% of people aged 18-44 have a “side hustle” or hold more than one job.
- Over one-quarter (27%) of 18 to 24-year-olds plan to change jobs next year due to burnout.
- Forty-six percent of workers plan to change their jobs in the next year for better pay.
These findings show that younger people are likely to leave their current jobs because of being overwhelmed. Leaders that wish to build trusting relationships with their employees must take these perceived frustrations into account when they develop culture-building programs. Now, with a crisis unfolding and workforces suddenly remote and distributed, company leadership has an especially crucial job of encouraging trust-building among everyone within its organization.
Generational Distrust Also a Workplace Contention
Generational lines also exist within companies. These differences can make it difficult for leaders to create trusting workplace cultures. Indeed, ninety percent of all respondents think other generations have different workplace needs and wants. The generational divide runs deeper. Half of all respondents believe management is out of touch with their generation.
- However, 18 to 24-year-olds (65%), 25 to 34-year-olds (54%), 35 to 44-year-olds (56%) believe management is out of touch.
- Sixty percent of 45 to 54-year-olds, 66% of 55 to 64-year-olds, and 66% of those over the age of 65 do not believe management is out of touch with their generation.
- While 51% of all respondents think their generation has it tougher than others, younger people more often report thinking their generation has it tougher than others. Sixty-four percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 56% of 25 to 34-year-olds feel their generation has it tougher than others.
The double-edged sword here is that 63% of all respondents believe their “employer/manager” takes generational differences into account to accommodate people’s different work styles. However, younger people (aged 44 and younger) felt this way more than the group as a whole (67% for that age cohort compared to 63% overall) while older generations less often reported feeling this way than the group as a whole.
Our data suggests that younger generations feel more frustrated than older colleagues with their workplace environments. However, leadership cannot simply overcorrect their culture-building processes in favor of younger generations, as older employees are already less inclined to feel their needs are being taken into account. Organizational leadership must adopt a multifaceted approach to building trust within their companies, one that addresses both the concerns employees have with burnout, as well as generational differences that exist.
This online survey was conducted in the United States in late 2019, by an independent creative market research agency, Atomik Research. The study’s sample consisted of 1,002 individuals employed full-time in a business/corporate environment.
Mavenlink is the modern software platform for professional and marketing services organizations. It is the only solution that helps services firms establish an operational system of record that facilitates their business lifecycle, including key capabilities like resource management, project management, collaboration, project accounting, and Business Intelligence. Services organizations in more than 100 countries are improving operational execution, increasing agility, and driving improved financial performance with Mavenlink. Mavenlink was named one of the fastest growing companies in North America by Deloitte, is the first solution to be listed as a Leader in both G2 Crowd’s Best Professional Services Automation and Best Project Management Software grids, and has been recognized as a Glassdoor Best Place to Work. Learn more at www.mavenlink.com.