Older workers more likely to 'go above and beyond'

Should work ethic matter in the ever-changing workplace?

Older workers more likely to 'go above and beyond'

Older employees are more likely to go above and beyond at their jobs than younger ones, according to a new report, which revealed the differences on how employees work by generation. Research from Frog Recruitment found that 54% of respondents aged 50 and above believe they "go above and beyond in their job," compared to just 17% of recipients under 25.

Shannon Barlow, managing director at Frog Recruitment, attributed older workers' behaviour to longstanding habits.

"The concept of achieving 'work-life balance' is new for mature workers. It was once perceived to get ahead in your career, you had to be seen working extra hours. It's only recently that working smarter and with flexibility, not longer, has been the modus operandi for a productive workforce," Barlow said.

Read more: Almost all Gen Z 'anxious' over lack of jobs

Barlow also warned against the consequences of going above and beyond, particularly burnout.

"Older generations need to be extra careful as they are more likely to experience burnout," she said.

Only 14% of 50-plus workers are "nailing their job duties only," a behaviour that 42% of workers below 25 and 21% of 25-to-50-year-old workers admitted to doing.

These varying results may stem from priorities, as 41% of workers below 25 said they prioritise work-life balance, whereas only 36% of workers between 25 and 50 and 32% of workers above 50 said the same. Barlow lauded younger workers for prioritising their wellbeing at work, while warning middle-aged workers against burnout.

"After what we now know about burnout in the workplace, it's vital people protect themselves from exhaustion and be extra careful not to burn the candle at both ends – particularly the middle generation who may be juggling work responsibilities with bringing up a family while squeezing in time to exercise, volunteer or perhaps even study," the managing director said.

Read more: Gen Z workers willing to sacrifice pay and perks to keep hybrid models

The findings come as mental health and employee wellbeing were placed in the spotlight because of the pandemic. It gave rise to the so-called "quiet quitting" trend, where workers do the bare minimum at work to establish personal and professional boundaries.

Barlow said work ethic between generations shouldn't matter as long as workers satisfy their key performance indicators.

"If Gen Zs are hitting their KPIs and are cohesive team players, employers can afford to overlook any perceived disparity in work ethic," she said. "It's more important that employers are tapped into the needs of each generation, especially if they're recruiting to fill skills shortages. Many of our clients want to attract a younger workforce, and we know employers offering policies that genuinely support healthy work-life balance will do this more successfully than those organisations that don't."

Recent articles & video

Splash Planet waterpark to close 2 months early due to staffing woes

'Great regret': 8 in 10 workers regret leaving during great resignation

What you need to know about the new Holidays Act

Unemployment climbs to 3.4% in December

Most Read Articles

Splash Planet waterpark to close 2 months early due to staffing woes

Revealed: HRD's Hot List winners for 2023

Are Kiwi leaders overlooking their own mental health?