Aged bosses can hurt the productivity of Gen Z and millennial workers: Report

The friction with aged bosses can hurt the productivity of Gen Zers and millennials, which will lead to
decrease the output as the age gap between an older boss and a worker grows.
Aged bosses can hurt the productivity of Gen Z and millennial workers: Report

Workplaces with five generations might be advantageous, but miscommunications and conflicts with more senior managers can cause problems. Research was provided by the London School of Economics and Political Science and the consultancy business Protiviti.


Daniel Jolles, referring to younger employees, stated in the statement, “We found that where there are larger age gaps between younger employees and older managers, they’re experiencing lower productivity.” Jolles works as a behavioral science research assistant at the LSE’s Inclusion Initiative.


According to Jolles, the fact that we are already witnessing a downturn in global production makes the efficiency decline all the more concerning. Worker age differences don’t have to limit productivity, he claimed. Companies can take some actions to turn age differences into a strength rather than a weakness.


Gen Zers and millennials feel the slump

The latest study is based on a poll of over 1,500 professionals in US and UK industries like tech and finance. Four out of five workers said they were not very productive. However, the percentage was greater among younger workers: 30% of millennials and 37% of Gen Zers reported feeling like they weren’t getting much done. In contrast, only 14% of boomers said they struggled to finish their to-do lists. The survey was conducted between March and April 2023.


According to Jolles, when the age difference between the worker and the supervisor grows, output may decrease. Workers were approximately 1.5 times more likely to report low productivity and nearly 3 times more likely to be “extremely dissatisfied” in their positions if their superiors were over 12 years older.


Employees who were older but had managers who were younger did not report being less productive.


It is imperative that managers acquire abilities in supervising and integrating individuals from diverse generations in order to steer clear of productivity traps associated with age disparities. Stated Jolles.


He claimed that conversations regarding the various generations at work all too frequently revert to clichés, such as the sensitive or lazy younger employee or the dinosaur who is opposed to change.


Regarding generational stereotypes, Jolles stated, “They’re not particularly true, and they’re not particularly helpful.” Managers should understand that while generation can influence a person’s experience and priorities, it is not the only one.


He stated that one benefit of hiring both younger and older people is their varied experiences. New hires frequently bring new perspectives to the table and may challenge established norms.


According to Jolles, elder employees are frequently the greatest at exhibiting what he refers to as “citizenship behaviors”—such as cooperating and showing support for others. Because of this method of working and their decades of knowledge, he believes it’s usually a good idea to rely on senior personnel.


Regularly, long-term employees “don’t get enough credit, or they don’t have a foot in the door because people are trying to put them out of opportunity or prematurely end their careers,” according to Jolles.


Naturally, the definition of old varies greatly depending on the field. In tech, it might be a worker as young as 30, he noted. In academia, that label might not be applied until someone hits 80.

Missed opportunities for employers

According to Jolles, there are signs that two groups—younger leaders and older employees who are not in management—do not always receive the credit they merit. He emphasized that it is important to not base decisions only on an individual’s age.


It’s crucial, according to Jolles, to advance people based on their merits rather than their age or generation.


Employers need to get this right since the population is becoming older, he said. Therefore, in order to keep people in the labourforce for longer, we need to offer a meaningful job. That ought to be a requirement for businesses. Additionally, there is less young talent in our pipeline.


Companies can commit to recruiting people of a variety of ages, in addition to developing employees based on merit and having managers who are skilled at leading across generations.


Individuals do contribute a wide range of viewpoints, concepts, and levels of understanding. Furthermore, I believe there are significant productivity gains to be made,” Jolles said in a statement.

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