New Global Report Finds Gen Y Employees Least Engaged

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A global study, "The State of Employee Engagement 2008," finds that Generation Y employees are the least engaged in the workplace on four continents. The new report was issued by Princeton consultants BlessingWhite. The study explores workplace attitudes among three generations of employees and draws on survey responses from more than 7,500 individuals and interviews with 40 senior human resource and line managers. The findings indicate that at least one quarter of Generation Y employees are disengaged in all key geographic regions except India. Southeast Asia reported the greatest portion of disengaged Gen Y workers with 35%.

Around the globe, senior executives are generally more engaged than front-line managers or individual contributors. Gen Y disengagement levels may reflect, to some extent, their low seniority since more Baby Boomers would predictably hold leadership roles. Increased engagement is an expected outcome from power and position.

A global study, The State of Employee Engagement 2008, finds that Generation Y employees are the least engaged in the workplace on four continents. The new report was issued by Princeton consultants BlessingWhite.

The The State of Employee Engagement 2008 explores workplace attitudes among three generations of employees and draws on survey responses from more than 7,500 individuals and interviews with 40 senior human resource and line managers.

The findings indicate that at least one quarter of Generation Y employees are disengaged in all key geographic regions except India. Southeast Asia reported the greatest portion of disengaged Gen Y workers with 35%.

Disengaged Employees Levels by Generation and Region:

                                         Baby Boomers Gen X         Gen Y
                                         (1946-64)        (1965-77)    (1978-90)

Australia & New Zealand: 13%                 24%             25%
China:*                         -                     34%             33%
Continental Europe:         18%                 20%             28%
India:                                 16%                 12%             14%
North America:    17%                 20%             25%
Southeast Asia:    16%                 20%             35%
United Kingdom & Ireland: 18%                 22%             30%
*There were too few survey responses for Baby Boomers in China to include.

The research suggests that the more senior the employees the more engaged they are, said BlessingWhite CEO Christopher Rice. "Around the globe, senior executives are generally more engaged than front-line managers or individual contributors. Gen Y disengagement levels may reflect, to some extent, their low seniority since more Baby Boomers would predictably hold leadership roles. Increased engagement is an expected outcome from power and position."

Another contributing factor is that younger employees often do not have a clear picture of what will make them happy, said Rice. "Often, they can't find what they're looking for because they don't have the experience to know what they want. Lack of personal clarity can also influence engagement for Gen Y, in particular."

The exception to a general picture of disengagement among Gen Y employees, explained Rice, is India, whose younger employees have higher levels of engagement compared to other regions. "This probably reflects the expanded opportunities as well as its young, fast-paced, knowledge-based economy. In fact, all generations in India are happier than employees in other regions," said Rice

"Engaged employees are not just committed or passionate or proud," said Rice. "They're enthusiastic and in gear, using their talents to make a difference in their employer's quest for sustainable success. As a rule, increased engagement results in increased productivity and performance. It's a key business issue leaders need to address, particularly in times of economic downturn and uncertainty."

Conversely, disengaged employees often feel underutilized, are the most disconnected from the organization's strategy, and may indulge in contagious negativity, warned Rice. "Left to themselves disengaged workers are likely to look for their next job, or worse collect a paycheck while complaining and not producing. If they can't be coached or encouraged to higher levels of engagement, their exit benefits everyone, including themselves."

Intended for both human resources executives and line managers, the global State of Employee Engagement 2008 report focuses on how leaders at all levels can nurture employee engagement. It includes detailed engagement data and comprehensive analysis by region, industry, function, generation, gender and tenure. It can be purchased for $500 by emailing info@bwinc.com.

Also available is a complimentary North American overview, which can be accessed at http://www.blessingwhite.com/research.

Of the 7,508 survey respondents surveyed between December 2007 and February 2008, 45% reside in North America, 33% in India, 5% in Continental Europe, 4% in United Kingdom and Ireland, 4% in Southeast Asia, 3% in China, and 2% in Australia and New Zealand.

BlessingWhite is a global consulting firm dedicated to creating sustainable high-performance organizations. Founded in 1973, the firm has worked with almost three million professionals in thousands of organizations. http://www.blessingwhite.com

Contact: Christopher Rice, CEO, BlessingWhite, 908-904-1000, ext. 8000, or Shari Fryer, Shari Fryer & Associates, 970-846-6607.

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