Boomers and Generation Z Most Aligned with Aging Services Workplace Culture

November 26, 2019

WRIGHTSVILLE, PA–Preliminary results from Holleran’s recently launched ETHOS cultural assessment shows Generation X and Millennial employees tend to be less aligned with organizational culture within aging services. This finding was made following a survey of nearly 1,000 employees, working for a large, multi-site senior living provider.

Today’s aging services workforce is made up of four distinct generations—Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. Each generation has different expectations of a workplace culture, which can drive employee engagement and retention. Holleran’s recent results show that Boomers and Generation Z workers seem to be more aligned than their Generation X and Millennial counterparts. This begs the question, why might this be the case?

“Broadly, it makes perfect sense” said Nikki Rineer, President of Holleran. “Baby Boomers continue to hold the reigns of leadership in most senior living organizations. They spent decades building cultures that align to their desires and world views. Meanwhile, Generation X and Millennial workers have found themselves stuck in middle management, unable to exert their influence on organizations, leaving them feeling stymied.”

Outside research supports these views. According to a recent USA TODAY/LinkedIn survey of 1,019 working professionals, 41% of Millennials—and 30% of all adults—reported that it’s difficult to advance within their fields because Baby Boomers are waiting longer to retire.

“This also supports the outlook of Generation Z” says Katelyn McCauley, a research analyst with Holleran. “As a cohort, they haven’t been in the workplace long, so they are not yet feeling stuck. Also, with the economy the way it has been, younger workers are often thankful to have a job with any career opportunity, helping them to buy in to workplace culture.”

The ETHOS cultural assessment was created with the aging services field in mind, providing a way for not-for-profit providers to better understand stakeholder perceptions of their culture. For years, senior living communities have identified their mission and values as being a key part of their brand and appeal when it comes to recruiting and retaining team members. The ETHOS assessment empowers organizations to ascertain if they are “walking the talk” of their not-for-profit mission and vision

Holleran’s recommended best practice is to align your culture with human motivations, crossing generations to make people – and your organization – more successful. Whether a person is new to the workforce, or a veteran to your organization, every employee can contribute their thoughts and ideas to help improve your workplace. Listening to their diverse viewpoints can help take your company to the next level.

Holleran is a full-service research and business intelligence firm with offices in Pennsylvania and Colorado.

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