The New Generation Gap

i4cp Study: Almost 70% of Companies Don't Have Programs to Deal with the Different Generations in the Workforce

SEATTLE, WA (Aug. 27, 2008) - With four generations of employees that are as different as LPs are from iPods, companies need to do a better job of identifying and utilizing the varied skills available to them under the same roof, according to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

A third of the companies queried in the study say that generational issues are not important or only somewhat important in their organizations, while 69% admit their organizations don't have specific programs in place to address generational differences. Additionally, a full eight out of 10 companies devote less than 5% of their learning and development budget to the issue.

"With four distinct groups at work, building relationships that cross generational gaps is important to a cohesive culture," says Jay Jamrog, i4cp's SVP of research. "If you want to be a preferred employer with the ability to attract, retain and engage top-flight workers, it makes sense to be keenly aware of the beliefs, attitudes and values of your workforce, no matter how diverse it is."

Of the organizations that do have generational initiatives in place, most cited the inclusion of training and/or educational programs, flexible work arrangements and overall issue awareness. When asked what the specific focus of their generational initiatives were meant to address, 59% of respondents pointed to awareness, a measure that jumps to 67% for companies with more than 10,000 employees. Forty-seven percent overall said they look at differences beyond the generational issue (other diversity issues), and 45% utilize tools for promoting better interaction.

To gauge the effectiveness of generational initiatives, 33% of organizations track the impact on retention, 28% measure impact on engagement, and 26% look at individual performance/productivity. Forty-three percent, however, admit their organizations do not measure the effectiveness of these initiatives. Furthermore, even though companies say they do measure retention and engagement after an initiative, 72% don't know if retention rates increased in correlation to the initiative and 64% have no idea if the initiative is responsible for improved employee engagement.

The Taking the Pulse: Generations in the Workforce survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with, in August 2008. There were a total of 398 respondents. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.

About i4cp, inc.

i4cp is the world's largest private network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity. Our vendor-free community facilitates innovation by giving our members - among the largest and most respected organizations in the world - access to:
  1. Peers to spark new ideas and prevent "reinventing the wheel,"
  2. Research to enable members to understand current practices and next practices,
  3. Tools to put ideas and research into action,
  4. Technology to enable members to easily access tailored information and execute workforce strategies.

With more than 40 years of experience and the industry's largest team of human capital analysts, i4cp is the definitive destination for organizations seeking innovative ways to improve workforce productivity. For more information, visit
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.