ATLANTA, March 11, 2013 – When it comes to the workplace, the generational gap may be much slimmer than millennials (born 1982-1994) and mature employees (born before 1946) might assume. According to the latest Engagement Study from Randstad, the age groups that share the most workplace sentiments in common are, surprisingly, the youngest and oldest generations. The vocational verdict: these employees expressed a more positive outlook on their careers than other demographics surveyed.

When asked about their feelings toward their current job, millennials and mature workers responded more favorably than other respondents across the board. In fact, 89 percent of mature workers and 75 percent of millennials say they enjoy going to work every day, and a majority of both groups feels inspired to do their best at work (95 percent of mature respondents and 80 percent of millennials). These workers additionally perceive a higher morale in the workplace than other age groups, with 69 percent of millennials and 64 percent of mature workers finding a positive energy at work, compared to just a 53 percent average among other generational groups.

Yet, there are differences between matures and millennials. They expressed drastically different opinions when asked about plans to transition to a new employer. A vast majority of millennial respondents would give serious consideration to a job offer from another company (57 percent), and 47 percent would proactively seek out a position with a different employer. Only 20 percent of mature workers would consider making a career move this year, and even fewer (12 percent) would look for a new job. This may be in large part due to the fact that mature workers are typically already established in their careers, while millennials are characteristically in more of the beginning stages of their careers where they are trying to find their niche.

“As the average age of retirement continues to increase, employers are not only seeing a wider generational gap amongst their employees, but they are also seeing more generations sitting side-by-side in the workplace than ever before,” said Jim Link, managing director for
Randstad US. “It is critical for companies to take note of the distinct characteristics, motivations and perspectives each cohort possesses, as well as the overlaps in attitude and workplace desires. In looking at our study findings, companies can dive into what engagement and retention drivers are aligned and not aligned across the different generations to identify and prioritize the largest opportunities to improve employee engagement within their organizations.”

In Randstad’s latest study, generational insights and perspectives around the workplace were additionally supplemented with broader views on the state of the economy.

  •      A majority of both millennial and mature workers believe the job market will pick up in 2013 (67 percent and 55 percent, respectively)
  •      However, the millennial generation feels significantly harder hit by the recession. Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe the economy has negatively altered their career plans, compared to only 35 percent of mature workers sharing the sentiment

Other notable findings:

·      The top engagement activities for all age groups were offering promotions or bonuses to high performing employees and being flexible in terms or hours or working arrangements

·      Millennials are more likely to feel that social or team-building events are effective engagement strategies, while mature workers are more likely to view the encouragement of opinion-sharing as an effective way to build employee engagement

·      Significantly more millennials find it difficult to disconnect from work while at home (52 percent compared to a 45 percent average); however, these younger workers are more likely to believe the blurring of lines between work and home has increased productivity (50 percent compared to a 37 percent average)

·      Millennials and mature workers ranked the same top three skills as the most important to grow their careers:

1.     Flexibility/adaptability

2.     Computer/technology proficiency

3.     Leadership


The Randstad Engagement Index is comprised of findings from quarterly waves of research targeting employees and annual surveys of employers. The sixth wave of findings was conducted online Nov. 1 - 13, 2012 from a national sample of  3,417 adults aged 18 and older who are currently employed full time from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel.

Weighting was used to balance demographics and ensure samples reflect the U.S. population of working adults.

Employees and employers were surveyed to compare notable differences in perceptions and attitudes. Multiple waves of research allow for trending and to track changes in perceptions and attitudes over time.  Research into employee attitudes and perceptions will be conducted quarterly. Research into employer attitudes and perceptions will be conducted on an annual basis.

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice which conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based on public opinion research.  They are the international polling agency of record for Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.  To learn more, visit:

About Randstad US

Randstad is a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services and the second largest staffing organization in the world. From temporary staffing to permanent placement to inhouse, professionals, search & selection, and HR Solutions, Randstad holds top positions around the world and has approximately 29,300 corporate employees and around 4,500 branches and inhouse locations in 39 countries around the world. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands, Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. Learn more at and access Randstad’s panoramic US thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.