Data: Age

As our sample population skews predominantly towards tech companies, the data peaks for workers aged between 25 and 34. There were seven respondents aged 65 or over, who were excluded from this analysis.

Age Group  Respondents  %
18 to 24 612 9.1%
25 to 34 3884 57.8%
35 to 44 1635 24.4%
45 to 54 508 7.6%
55 to 64 73 1.1%
Total Identified Respondents  6719


Engagement overall

Age groups are where we start to see major differences in engagement scores. As a general trend, older workers are more engaged, rivaling some of our most-engaged organizations.

Engagement-age@2x.png

Favorable responses to diversity and inclusion factors

For age groups, those aged 25-34 consistently respond significantly lower than all other groups to every diversity and inclusion factor. This is especially significant as this age range constitutes the majority of the workforce represented in our dataset.

We've talked about the Millennial Problem before. We concluded that poor workplace engagement are much more tied to a new career trajectory than an arbitrary range of birth year. We still believe this argument to be true. The factors with the biggest differences in sentiment can be expressed as a function of experience: compensation, decision making and opportunities. It's not that younger workers "just aren't engaged at work," but older and more experienced workers are generally in more senior positions with better pay. Older people are also happier in general. 

But perhaps more interestingly, the data also seems to suggest the definitions of diversity differ across age groups. Overall, we see an inverse relationship with diversity sentiment with age and cohort size. For example, the factor "My company builds teams that are diverse" has the highest positive response rate from the oldest cohort, which is also the smallest.


LEGEND

Belonging-1: I can be my authentic self at work
Belonging-2:
Even when something bad happens (e.g., when I get critical feedback from my manager, I have a negative social interaction with a peer, etc.), I don't question whether or not I belong at my company
Belonging-3:
I feel respected at my company
Belonging-4:
I feel like I belong at my company
Decisions-1:
I am included in decisions that affect my work
Decisions-2:
Perspectives like mine are included in the decision making at my company
Decisions-3:
I am satisfied with how decisions are made at my company
Diversity-1:
My company values diversity
Diversity-2:
My company builds teams that are diverse
Fairness-1:
I believe that my total compensation is fair, relative to similar roles at my company
Fairness-2:
My job performance is evaluated fairly
Fairness-3:
People from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed at my company
Fairness-4:
Administrative tasks that don't have a specific owner (e.g., taking notes in meetings, scheduling events, cleaning up shared space) are fairly divided at my company
Purpose-1:
I understand how my work contributes to my company's mission
Purpose-2:
The work that we do at my company is important
Resources-1:
When there are career opportunities at my company, I am aware of them
Resources-2:
I know where to find information to do my job well
Resources-3:
My company believes that people can always greatly change their talents and abilities
Resources-4:
My company enables me to balance work and personal life
Voice-1:
When I speak up, my opinion is valued
Voice-2:
I can voice a contrary opinion without fear of negative consequences
Voice-3:
At my company, there is open and honest two-way communication

Diversity and inclusion factors most strongly correlated to engagement scores (ranked)

By correlating the responses to individual survey items back to overall engagement, we can see how strongly they are linked. Higher rankings mean a stronger correlation to engagement.

18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Diversity and Inclusion Factor
1 1 1 1 1 I feel like I belong at my company
2 6 5 2  7 The work that we do at my company is important
4 5 NA NA  8 My company believes that people can always greatly change their talents and abilities
6 8 9 5  6 I understand how my work contributes to my company's mission
3 3 3 4 2 I feel respected at my company
5 2 2 3  NA I am satisfied with how decisions are made at my company
NA 4 4 NA NA  At my company, there is open and honest two-way communication
NA 7 8 NA 3 Even when something bad happens, I don't question whether or not I belong at my company
NA 9 6 NA NA  When I speak up, my opinion is valued
NA NA NA NA  4 I believe that my total compensation is fair, relative to similar roles at my company
NA NA 7 NA 5 I can be my authentic self at work

— Click demographic to sort.  NA indicates factor is not a significant driver of engagement.

"I feel like I belong at my company" is the item most correlated to engagement. Across age groups, the drivers of engagement seems to fit a narrative of career progression:

  • Those 18-24 are driven by finding meaningful work, feeling respected and being able to change and grow their talents and abilities.
  • From the 20s on, people value decision-making and having open communication - likely with company leadership.
  • Around the late 30s, this trend continues, but people are beginning to think about their personal authenticity, as this is the first time this shows up as a driver.
  • Late 40s shows a return to doing work that matters and being satisfied with the execution of it.
  • Lastly, in their 50s, people reflect on where they belong in the workplace and their authenticity at work. And not surprisingly, those closest to retirement age are also those that most tie compensation to their engagement at work. This is the only group for which compensation shows up as a strong engagement driver.

Comments

Overall, the key takeaway is to understand that people at different stages in life are motivated by different drivers, much of which can be explained by factors that occur outside of the workplace. Finding personal meaning, authenticity, overall life satisfaction, and retirement are all factors that can impact engagement.  

View other interactive data sets

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