SOURCE: Kelly Services, Inc.

Kelly Services, Inc.

August 26, 2009 11:00 ET

Communication Style and Reward Preferences Ignite Generational Differences in the Global Workplace According to Kelly Services International Survey

TROY, MI--(Marketwire - August 26, 2009) - Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) -- Any workplace with a broad spectrum of generations is likely to face management challenges in juggling the needs of different age groups. A recent international survey finds that issues such as communication style and monetary awards can be the source of marked differences in attitude among the three main workplace generations -- Gen Y (aged 18-29), Gen X (aged 30-47), and baby boomers (aged 48-65).

The survey, by global workforce solutions leader Kelly Services, finds that Gen Y is increasingly using instant messaging, yet all age groups overwhelmingly prefer face-to-face communication. In regard to rewards and bonuses, older workers prefer non-cash items such as time off work and training opportunities. Gen Y have a clear preference for monetary rewards.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 100,000 people in 34 countries covering North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Kelly Services Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, George Corona, says the task of managing the generations may not be as complex as many managers, and some employees, believe.

"By addressing issues such as internal communications and compensation, it is possible to reap the benefits of managing a diverse group of people, and generate conditions that can help organizations to flourish," Corona says.

Results also show 42 percent of respondents say differences between Gen Y, Gen X and baby boomers actually improve workplace productivity, while 24 percent say they interfere with productivity, and 23 percent say they make no difference.

More than a third (42 percent) of all employees say they have experienced intergenerational conflict in the workplace, while almost three quarters admit to adapting the way they communicate with colleagues from a different generation in order to avoid problems.

Across the generational divide, there is recognition of the role of management in addressing critical issues. Baby boomers are overwhelmingly concerned at the failure of management to reward and manage their generation in a way that meets their needs and expectations.

Among the key findings of the survey:

--  Baby boomers are the most tolerant of generational differences and the
    most positive about the productivity benefits;
--  Gen X are more likely to have experienced intergenerational conflict
    than either Gen Y or baby boomers;
--  Gen Y are more likely to go out of their way to adapt their
    communication style in dealing with colleagues from a different generation.
    

"Often what can appear a source of friction between the generations can also be a source of creativity and growth when it is harnessed and cultivated," Corona says.

"It is important that issues such as management style, communication technique and remuneration structure are not allowed to become the focus for dissent among different generational groups. By recognizing the varying needs of people at different stages of their life and career, managers can address issues and actually enhance performance," Corona concludes.

For more information on the survey results, visit www.kellyservices.com

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index

The Kelly Global Workforce Index is a survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Results of the current findings from across Kelly's global operations in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific will be published throughout 2009 in a series of six releases.

About Kelly Services

Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a world leader in workforce management services and human resources solutions. Kelly offers a comprehensive array of temporary staffing, permanent placement, outsourcing, and consulting services. Kelly serves clients around the globe and provides employment to 650,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2008 was $5.5 billion. Visit www.kellyservices.com.

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