flipping magazine pagesAccording to the latest Engagement Study from Randstad, the generational gap between Millennials (born 1982-1994)  and older workers (born before 1946) is slimmer than expected, with both groups reporting  a more positive outlook on their careers than other demographics surveyed.

The survey of 3,417 adults aged 18 and older  showed that 89 percent of seasoned workers and 75 percent of Millennials enjoy going to work every day, and a majority of both groups feels inspired to do their best at work (95 percent of mature workers and 80 percent of Millennials). Another 69 percent of Millennials and 64 percent of mature workers find a positive energy at work, while only 53 percent of other generational groups reported finding the same energy.

Differences still exist between mature workers and Millennials, though.  For example, the 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. Yet, only 20 percent of mature workers would consider changing careers this year, and even fewer (12 percent) would look for a new job.

“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,” Jim Link, managing director for Randstad US, said. “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.”

Other findings include:

  • A majority of both Millennial and mature workers believe the job market will pick up in 2013 (67 percent and 55 percent, respectively), but Millennials feel significantly harder hit by the recession.
  • 59 percent of participants believe the economy has negatively altered their career plans, compared to only 35 percent of mature workers.
  • Millennials and mature workers both ranked flexibility/adaptability, computer/technology proficiency, and leadership as the top three skills that are most important to grow their careers.
in Employee Motivation]