Generations have similar attitudes to work

Quebec study dispels myth that young workers care less about work than their older counterparts
||Last Updated: 10/23/2006

Different generations of workers have similiar attitudes towards work, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,000 Quebecers, commissioned by the Ordre des CRHA et CRIA du Quebec (ORHRI), Quebec's HR association, set out to discover how various generations viewed the importance and value of their work.

Overall, 96 per cent of respondents considered work an important value, with 47 per cent ranking it as “very important,” and 49 per cent as “somewhat important," with no differences among generations broken down into 18 to 28 year olds, 29 to 43 year olds, 44 to 60 year olds and those over the age of 61.

“It’s encouraging to see that no significant difference was noted among the different generations, neither in their attitude towards their work nor towards motivation or the place work occupies in their lives. These results dispel some pretty deep-rooted myths, particularly about young workers,” said Florent Francoeur, president and CEO of ORHRI.

To determine where they placed work on their scale of values, respondents were asked to rank it and six other factors. Work, with 47 per cent of respondents ranking it as "very important," placed fifth, trailing family at 91 per cent, sense of responsibility at 84 per cent, respect for authority at 55 per cent and leisure at 53 per cent, but ahead of career at 32 per cent and money at 28 per cent.

The differences between generational attitudes were, however, apparent when looking at attitudes towards respect for authority, leisure activities and career.

Respect for authority was at its lowest for those aged 61 years and older with 86 per cent of respondents agreeing that it is “very important” or “somewhat important." However, 93 per cent of 29 to 43 year olds and 95 per cent of 44 to 60 year olds said respect for authority is “very important” or “somewhat important."

Leisure activities were least important to those in the 61 and older age group with 88 per cent of respondents stating leisure activities are “very important” or “somewhat important." This percentage jumped to 97 per cent among 29 to 43 year olds.

Career was “very important” or “somewhat important” to 76 per cent of those aged 61 years and older, 85 per cent of those aged 44 to 60, 89 per cent of those aged 18 to 28 and 90 per cent of those aged 29 to 43.

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