- Older workers are more likely to look for work where they can have a positive impact, new data shows.
- The study also found that regardless of age, workers want a job where they can develop personally and have confidence in leadership.
- The survey collected responses from 500,000 employees at 750 companies.
Older workers may not be as jaded as you might think.
New data provided to Business Insider from employee feedback platform Culture Amp found that employees between the ages of 55-64 are more likely than their younger counterparts to want a job that does good in the world.
Culture Amp, which is used by Airbnb, Lyft, and a number of prominent tech companies, gives employees a platform to give feedback to employers. The startup has raised $36.3 million in venture capital funding since it was founded in 2011.
Since the company has a wide user base, CEO Didier Elzinga tells Business Insider that he wanted to see if he could debunk some of the prevailing narratives about Millennial workers — especially the idea that younger workers want more autonomy and purpose than older ones.
"It certainly surprised me," Elzinga said. "It's not just young people that want to make a difference in the world, it's us old fuddy duddies as well."
The survey, which collected responses from 500,000 employees at 750 companies, asked respondents to answer questions about "engagement drivers" — or what is important to them about a job. The companies surveyed were mostly in the U.S., Australia, and Europe.
Across all age groups, employees indicated that confidence in company leadership and the ability to provide personal development were important. But where the responses differed, the survey found, was whether a job allows someone to make a positive impact. No other age group besides employees ages of 55-64 listed it in their top five "engagement drivers."
Elzinga has a theory about why this may the case: Older workers may be disillusioned by the prospect of earning lots of money, and instead want to focus on work that's meaningful.
"You get to the point where making gobsmacks of money isn't all it's cracked up to be," he said.
With the exception of whether a job has a positive impact on the world, the responses were consistent across all age groups. Almost every age group listed personal growth, confidence in leadership, and being motivated by the vision of the company as major drivers of their connection to work.
This shows, Elzinga said, that workers regardless of age want the same basic things out of a job. And it debunks the notion that employers need to change company culture for a younger workforce.
"There's all these things out there about how you have to change the way your company runs because you're hiring Millennials for Gen Y," Didier said. "We want to help people use data in right way and the truth is most of the generational effects people are talking about are a complete sham."
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