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News » Young workers’ productivity dips under older managers – survey

Young workers’ productivity dips under older managers – survey

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — New research reveals that generational divides in the workplace are driving down productivity in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

A study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in collaboration with Protiviti surveyed 1,450 employees in the finance, technology and professional services industries and found friction between younger and older workers was causing lower productivity.

The research discovered a “productivity manager age gap,” with employees more than 12 years younger than their boss 1.5 times more likely to report low productivity. 

Other key findings include:

  • 25% of employees self-reported low productivity
  • Low productivity was seen among Gen Z (37%), Millennials (30%), Gen X (22%), and Baby Boomers (14%)
  • Active listening, time management and judgment, and decision-making are the most important skills for productivity and career advancement. 

“We now have five generations working together in the workplace and the skills that are required to manage these dynamics are not usually being taught by firms,” Grace Lordan, Founder and Director of The Inclusion Initiative at LSE, who led the research, explained.

“Our research shows that if we invest in giving these skills to managers, and creating an intergenerationally inclusive workplaces there are significant productivity gains to be had.”  

With such practices in place, the proportion of Gen Z workers reporting low productivity dropped from 37% to 18%. Millennials’ low productivity figures fell from 30% to 13%. 

Overall, 87% of staff at intergenerationally inclusive workplaces reported high productivity versus 58% at those without.

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