Older Canadian workers would not mind having younger bosses; younger ones would not mind having subordinates older than they are.
This is the result of a recent poll among 400 professionals conducted by Office Team, a Robert Half
company that specializes in staffing solutions.
Eighty-six percent of respondents said they would be comfortable reporting to manager who is younger than they are, and 92percent would not mind overseeing people older than they are.
"An individual's performance, initiative and enthusiasm say more about a person's leadership ability than tenure or years of experience," said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam.
She said diverse employee backgrounds make for successful companies. "Organizations are strengthened by the unique skills, perspectives and insights that professionals can share with and learn from one another."
Baby boomers, or those aged 55 and older, appear to be the most receptive to multi-generational working relationships, with 87 percent saying they would be comfortable with a younger boss and 97 percent with an older subordinate.
They were also most likely to state there are no challenges in reporting to a younger supervisor (29 per cent) and managing someone older (33 per cent).
Millennials appear ready to step up to positions of responsibility – 87 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they would not have an issue managing individuals older than they are.
Despite apparent openness to the idea of managing or reporting to colleagues outside their age group, however, respondents are aware there might be challenges.
- In having a younger boss, respondents identified contrasts in work ethics or values (27 per cent) and leadership or learning styles (20 per cent) as the biggest challenges.
- Managing an older subordinate might highlight differing work ethics and values (19 per cent) and contrasting ways of using technology (18 per cent).
- Among millennials, 20 percent are concerned about different communication styles across generations.