Watch your backs, Boomers. Nearly seven-in-ten Millennials (68 percent) would sacrifice a friendship with a colleague for a promotion, new study finds.
“Cutthroat” is not a word usually used to describe Millenials, but a recent LinkedIn study of workplace relationships finds that they are perhaps even more competitive on the job than previous generations.
Nearly seven-in-ten Millennials (68 percent) would sacrifice a friendship with a colleague for a promotion. In comparison, 62 percent of Baby Boomers would never consider such a thing, the study found. Overall, 18 percent of professionals report that their workplace friendships do affect their work performance by making them more competitive in their careers.
By the same token, Millennials, who for the purposes of this study are defined as individuals between the ages of 18-24, are much more social than their older counterparts (maybe it’s the old Corleone maxim of keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer). Millennials, more than any other age group, the study found, put the most positive spin on workplace friendships. They report that report that workplace friendships impact them in a positive way, making them feel happy (57 percent), motivated (50 percent) and productive (39 percent).
Almost half of Baby Boomers ages 55-65 said that colleague friendships have no bearing on their work performance.
Three-out-of-five Millennia professionals said that socializing in-person with their co-workers enhances the work environment, compared with just two-out-of five Baby Boomers. Nearly one-in-three Millennials also believe that socializing with their co-workers will pave the way for career advancement.
Perhaps because of the prevalence of social media in their lives, younger workers are more likely than their Baby Boomer co-workers to be more comfortable sharing personal information. Forty-nine percent of Millennials are more likely to discuss salary with co-workers at work, compared to just 31 percent of Baby Boomers, A majority of Millennial workers are also more open to sharing relationship advice with their coworkers, compared to 23 percent of Baby Boomers. The study also found that nearly three-in-ten Millennials (28 percent) have texted a manager out of work hours for a non-work related issue, compared to only 10 percent of Baby Boomers.
“Workplace relationships are ever-changing and an important factor in shaping both office dynamics and individual job development,” Nicole Williams, LinkedIn career expert said in a statement. “This means that creating an office culture that resonates across generations, roles and personalities is a critical factor in a successful working environment.”
Other studies have found generational differences between Millennials and their older cohorts. A 2013 Pew Research study found that half of Millennials put the highest priority on having a job they enjoy, compared with 44 percent of Gen Xers and 38 percent of Baby Boomers. Similarly, Millennials and Gen Xers place a near-equally high premium than Baby Boomers on job security (40 percent of Millennials vs. 38 percent of Gen Xers and 31 percent of Boomers).
Related story: What does job satisfaction mean to Millennials?
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.