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Millennials Want Warm Fuzzies at Work, LinkedIn Finds

But they also report greater willingness to ditch a workplace friend for a promotion.

By University Alliance on March 24, 2015
‘Startling’ Generational Differences in Workplace

How important is career advancement? How important are relationships with co-workers? The answers might depend on whether you were born before 1960 or after 1990.

There are “startling” generational differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers, or those ages 18 to 24 and 55 to 65, respectively, a recent LinkedIn survey found. The younger generation is more comfortable sharing personal details, including salary information and relationship advice. Some even contact managers after hours about non-work matters.

Boomers are much more reserved and circumspect, according to the survey data, which could be of significant interest to HR managers and other human resources professionals.

“This means that creating an office culture that resonates across generations, roles and personalities is a critical factor in building a successful working environment,” LinkedIn career expert Nicole Williams said in a July 2014 statement.

The online professional network’s Relationships@Work survey included responses from 11,500 full-time workers worldwide. Among other findings: 68% of Millennials expressed willingness to sacrifice a workplace friendship for a promotion, while 62% of Boomers insisted they would never consider dumping a friend for a bigger paycheck.

Despite those findings, the survey also found that Millennials are much more likely to have friendships in the workplace. Such relationships make them feel happy (57%), motivated (50%) and productive (39%). Nearly one-third of Millennials said they believe that socializing with colleagues will help them advance their career.

Williams told that Boomers may be less reliant on workplace friendships because they already have spouses and children. She also suggested that Millennials may be more willing to jeopardize a relationship for career advancement due to lower expectations for long-term employment at any given company.

“If you thought you’d be sticking around for 20 years, I think you’d be more conscious in terms of your relationships,” she said.

The LinkedIn survey findings were published just a couple of months after an annual report on job satisfaction by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The SHRM report found that pay/compensation was the top- or second-rated aspect of satisfaction across several generations of employees, including Millennials and Baby Boomers. However, a significant proportion of workers also placed importance on relationships with co-workers and supervisors.

Category: 2015 Headlines