Want the Job Done? Ask a Gen Xer

Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey Shows this Generation Cares Most about
Making an Impact on the Business and are the Most Engaged in the

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–An executive survey released today by the Futurestep division of Korn
Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the preeminent global people and organizational
advisory firm, reveals the heads down, get-the-job-done attitudes and
priorities of Gen X employees (born 1965-1980).

When asked which generation is the most engaged in the workforce, more
than half of respondents (52 percent) said Generation X. Baby Boomers
and Millennials were tied at just under 25 percent.

“While members of each generation are critical to the workforce and
their diversity of thought brings new ideas and insights to companies,
organizational leaders would benefit by harnessing and rewarding the
hard-work habits of Gen Xers,” said Andrea Wolf, Futurestep’s North
American Practice Leader, Human Resources.

The survey found that the largest number of respondents (39 percent) say
that the “ability to make a difference in their organization” is most
important to Gen Xers in the workplace. That’s nearly double the
percentage that cite “job stability” or “development opportunities.”

Nearly 50 percent of respondents said that “the ability to make an
impact on the business” is the top reason why a Gen Xer would choose one
job over another. When asked why they would stay on the job, 41 percent
said “a sense of pride in their work” with “financial stability” coming
in second and “organizational culture” coming in third.

“We find that generally speaking, Gen Xers have different priorities in
the workplace than their younger millennial colleagues, who usually
place much higher priority on the culture and vision of companies for
which they work,” said Wolf. “Gen Xers tend to focus less on the
environment around them and more on accomplishing their work goals and
contributing to the success of the business. As a result companies need
to value their ideas and opinions and give them a voice.”

When asked which benefits are most important to Gen Xers, the top answer
was “pay and bonuses” at nearly 50 percent. Only 25 percent said “paid
time off.”

“Talk to a Gen Xer about his or her vacation, and they’ll say they’re
too busy to take one, or they had to cut it short because of work,” said
Wolf. “Employers may want to consider rewards other than extended
vacation time to attract and retain this group.”

When asked which generation receives the most attention in the
workplace, nearly 60 percent of respondents cited millennials. However,
results suggest that doesn’t matter much to Gen Xers, as only 15 percent
of respondents said being recognized for their contributions was a top

“To increase productivity and quality, one needs to understand
generational characteristics and learn how to use them effectively in
dealing with each individual,” said Wolf. “One of the best approaches
for Gen Xers is to give the tools and resources they need to do their
jobs well.”

About the survey

There were 1,070 responses to the global survey, which took place from
Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, 2016. Full results are as follows:

What matters most to Gen X employees (born 1965-1980)?

— Job stability 16 percent
— Income 8 percent
— Promotion opportunity 7 percent
— Ability to make a difference in the organization 39 percent
— Development opportunities 15 percent
— Being recognized for their contributions 15 percent

What benefits are most important to Gen X employees (born

— Retirement plans 19 percent
— Medical plans 8 percent
— Pay/bonuses 48 percent
— Paid time off 25 percent

What makes a Gen Xer stay in a job (born 1965-1980)?

— Fear they won’t find anything better 7 percent
— Financial stability 24 percent
— Have a sense of pride in their work 41 percent
— Income 5 percent
— Company culture 23 percent

What makes a Gen Xer choose one job over another (born

— Belief in the reputation and vision of the organization 31 percent
— Income/benefits 10 percent
— Stable company/small chance for layoffs 5 percent
— Ability to make an impact on the business 48 percent
— Flexibility 6 percent

On average, what generation do you believe is most engaged in
the workforce?

— Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) 23 percent
— Gen X (born 1965-1980) 52 percent
— Millennial (born 1981-1995) 23 percent
— Gen Z (born after 1995) 2 percent

What generation gets the most attention in the workplace?

— Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) 4 percent
— Gen X (born 1965-1980) 27 percent
— Millennial (born 1981-1995) 58 percent
— Gen Z (born after 1995) 11 percent

Editor’s Note: Infographic available here http://bit.ly/1QLL8lS

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory
firm. We help leaders, organizations and societies succeed by releasing
the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues
deliver services through Korn Ferry and our Hay Group and Futurestep
divisions. Visit kornferry.com for more information.

More information on Futurestep can be found at www.futurestep.com.


Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner, 612.309.3957