Employee Research Topic: Employee Demographics

Employee Demographics

great{with}talent conducted research into employee demographics. The aim was to see if companies’ ‘one size fits all’ approach is really effective in the work place.

Employee Demographics

Organisations tend to adopt a blanket approach to staff retention. This research set out to establish whether there are demographic differences between employees in their values, commitment and job satisfaction. The results also show whether an organisation can gain competitive advantage by accommodating these differences, if they do exist.

great{with}talent researched 16,000 employees in UK organisations. They were asked to rank the relative importance of 12 key factors that underpin employee commitment.

Employee Research Findings

The research found a number of gender differences in the workplace. Women express higher level of organisational commitment and a lower intention to leave than men.

Women also value the quality of their working relationships with their line manager and their peers. Whilst men value salary and career progression more than women.

Age differences also exist in the workplace. Older employees have higher levels of job satisfaction and organisational commitment. This is contrary to claims about Generation Y.

The importance of work-life balance and concern for corporate and social responsibility increase with age. Whereas younger workers, consistent with Generation Y claims, are the most change-orientated and career-driven. Both career progression and personal growth decrease in importance with age.

The research reveals no significant differences in organisational commitment or intention to leave between ethnic groups. Though, it found that Indian, Chinese, Pakistani and black African employees place higher importance on career progression than white British people. Whereas Pakistani and Chinese groups report the lowest levels of job satisfaction.

There are educational differences, as employees with a degree-level education place higher importance on work values linked to challenge and advancement. These include career progression, job satisfaction, personal growth and autonomy.

In contrast, non-graduate employees value more tangible, immediate factors such as salary, line manager relationships, loyalty and working conditions.

Graduates have higher levels of organisational commitment than non-graduates. They are also more likely to leave an organisation.

Finally, occupational differences were revealed. For example, managers, professionals and sales groups have the highest level of job satisfaction.

In terms of employee engagement, the least satisfied with their jobs are machine operatives and those in customer service roles.

The gender, age, ethnic, educational and occupational differences should serve to highlight that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to staff retention won’t work. Different employee demographics have different needs and priorities.

Organisations can gain a competitive advantage, cut staff turnover levels and promote diversity if they are flexible enough to satisfy these needs.

HR Strategies

• Understanding demographic differences between employees can help organisations to achieve higher levels of employee motivation, satisfaction and commitment.

• HR professionals should adopt a more flexible approach to staff retention. They need one that takes into account the gender, age, ethnic, educational and occupational differences that exist.

• The demographic differences reflect the diversity of the UK labour force but they do not mean that certain groups should be treated any differently.

– Written by Ron Eldridge is a Director of employee engagement and retention specialist great{with}talent.

Contact great{with}talent and find out more about their TalentEngage employee engagement surveys.


(Main image from Write for HR)

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