Our changing workplace: Cultural shifts are impacting expectations of ’employer’ brands

In an effort to learn more about how upcoming cultural shifts are impacting the workplace for a presentation of our trends to HR executives of a large multinational, we fielded a quick quantitative study.  In mid-April we asked 600 Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers in the US about what employers can do, aside from pay rises and moving to a more convenient location, to better motivate them to work for them. Specifically, we asked our respondents to tell us what their employers could to do make work more exciting and to characterize their ‘ideal employer’. Not surprisingly, all cohorts would like their current employers to offer more benefits. These include more affordable healthcare, better healthcare, including dental, etc. And, everyone wants more vacation, whether that is more vacation days, more flexible vacation time (Millennials) or paid vacation. For Baby Boomers, benefits are by far the most important thing an employer can offer - whether it be their current employer or their ideal one.  And, possibly more so than we would expect given their age and stage in life, Boomers are seeking opportunities for personal and professional development. Other CultureQ research offers some potential insight into this: some Boomers have told us they recognize they need new skills to remain relevant and others have noted that they don’t intend on leaving the workplace for some time. These sit alongside those who note they are being forced to find ‘new’ careers for a variety of reasons. What we found very interesting in our recent data was the subtle differences in the words the different generations chose to describe the characteristics they...

Is optimism about the economy having an influence on Millennials’ career choice?

We think so. As Millennials’ faith in the economy increases, their views about career paths are also shifting. While being an entrepreneur was the most appealing career path for 2012, respondents to our third annual CultureQ survey on cultural sentiment in the US and the UK were more likely to find being a corporate executive the better career option for 2014. Corporate executive is the top career choice Millennials, both those both in the workforce and those trying to join it, are more likely to say that working in a corporation and becoming a corporate executive is a more appealing career choice than being an entrepreneur, government employee/civil servant or working at a non-profit or NGO. And, except for Boomers in the UK who continue to cite an entrepreneur as the most appealing career for 2014, Gen Xers and Boomers agree. The appeal of entrepreneurialism is waning The appeal of becoming an entrepreneur has dropped across all groups most especially among Millennials in the UK (43% to 31%). Simultaneously, versus 2012, there has been a small increase in the number of Millennials in the US and the UK who believe working at a non-profit is the most appealing career, surpassing civil servant as a suitable career even among younger Americans.                 So why is this significant? As people begin to feel better about the economy,  our respondents indicate that they anticipate increasing improvement in the private sector job market. Effectively, they see less of a need to become an entrepreneur in order to earn a decent living. And, with this optimism for...

What do people hope 2014 will bring?

Brands can focus on helping people feel more in control financially Financial stability is more top of mind this year than in our previous annual CultureQ studies. Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers alike are more focused on the ability to gain and maintain individual financial stability. In 2013, Millennials’ hopes for the year focused on getting in or finishing school (55%); only 25% cited financial stability, whereas 47% named it as one of their hopes for 2014.   Is this correlated with Millennials getting older? Likely it is to some degree but the data indicates it may also be related to shifting sentiment across the population overall. While financial stability has been a top hope for Gen Xers over the past three years, it increased significantly in 2014, from 64% to 79%.Analyzing individual responses (we personally read every one) offers us further insight and confirms that each generation’s hopes are related at least in part to lifestage. Millennials hope to get raises and pay off student loans, while Gen Xers are focused on paying down debt, including mortgages, and ensuring financial security for retirement. Boomers responses, however, could indicate that people have accepted insecurity as the New Normal and realize it’s time to stop waiting for things to get better and move forward regardless. Rather than speaking about having enough money for retirement, many Boomers tell us they’re looking to downsize their lives, budget better and eliminate unnecessary expenses. With many projecting that Boomers will control more than 70% of America’s disposable wealth over the next few years, a focus on budgeting better may be concerning to brands. The...

Millennials are more optimistic about our economic future

  Millennials are less concerned about the global economy today than they were in 2012 based on our latest CultureQ research results And as their worries about the economy have decreased, their concerns about the environment have steadily increased. UK Millennials are nearly as concerned about world events as they are the economy. Decreasing concern about the global economy is coupled with an increase in optimism about national economies In both the US and UK, Millennials are more optimistic than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers about their country’s economic prospects for 2014, with about 4 in ten believing it will improve. As we review our respondents hopes and fears for 2014, we’re hoping to gain more insight as to whether or not Millennials optimism is due to youthful naivety or a more positive outlook on the future...

Wooed by great Customer Service

I recently had what I consider to be an outstanding customer service experience. I’d been looking, looking, looking for an area rug to, not just fill the space under my coffee table, but to make my new apartment cozier.  I’d been close to pulling the trigger a few times, but had not yet felt compelled to pull out my credit card. Then a friend suggested I look at Angela Adams’ rugs.  A quick tour around the site and I was hooked – not only were the rugs great, the prices were good and I loved the intimacy of their site with insight into the people behind the designs and the company.  (www.angelaadams.com) So, after a quick poke around, I finally pulled that trigger on a cream textured 5 x 8 rug which was, BONUS, on sale.  As  I clicked on the thumbnail image of the rug on the site, I was surprised that I could not get any further. Rather than being sent to a shopping cart, I was instructed to call a 1 800 number to complete the sale. Grrr, at first, slightly irritated by this, I picked up the phone and dialed. My irritation was dissipated immediately as what I pictured to be a young woman, sitting in a nice green laid-back town in Maine, where Angela Adams is headquartered, cheerily answered the phone. ‘Lilly’ kindly explained that the reason for not being able to order directly from the site was due to limited availability – in fact there was just one of the rugs left.  She quickly put a hold on the rug to ensure that none of...
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