A new global survey from LinkedIn finds that 68% of millennials would sacrifice a friendship with a colleague for a promotion at work – but 58% of baby boomers wouldn’t even consider it.
“There are vast differences between how generations viewed relationships in the workplace, especially around getting ahead in careers,” LinkedIn spokeswoman Kathleen Kahlon told HRM. “Millennials prioritise relationships in a different way.”
While the difference may seem callous, it could also be a sign of the changing priorities with age. Many Gen Y workers face serious competition in the job market and getting ahead in their career might seem more important than developing long-term friendships.
Baby boomers, on the other hand, are mostly in the last 10 years of their careers, so the promotion might not seem as urgent.
Ironically, millennials were most likely to say getting along with colleagues made them more happy, motivated and productive. Nearly one out of three millennials also believed that socialising with colleagues in person will help them advance their career.
And if you think salaries are kept confidential, don’t bet money on it – 51% of millennials discuss their salary with colleagues, as do 31% of baby boomers.
“What the results tell us is employers need to understand how people communicate and value relationships,” Kahlon said. “Some people like to develop relationships in a different way. I think it’s about understanding who your employers are, what their needs might be, and being flexible.”
Work friendships are vital to job satisfaction, but it seems some generations value those relationships less than others.