Recent research from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in collaboration with Protiviti, a division of Robert Half Inc., has shed light on the impact of age differences between workers and managers on productivity. The study revealed that employees in the US and UK who are considerably younger than their managers tend to report lower productivity due to a lack of collaboration across different generations. Specifically, the report emphasized that employees with managers more than 12 years of their seniority are almost 1.5 times as likely to report low productivity.

In a press release, Grace Lordan, co-author of the report and founder/director of The Inclusion Initiative at the London School of Economics and Political Science, expressed a lack of surprise at the discovery of a 'productivity manager age gap.' Lordan noted the evidence of differing tastes and preferences across generations, questioning the expectation of seamless collaboration in such circumstances.

The study also highlighted the presence of five generations in the workforce, underscoring the insufficient teaching of skills required to manage these dynamics within firms. Furthermore, the research indicated higher productivity in younger generations at organizations that employ intergenerationally inclusive work practices. Such practices involve providing colleagues from every generation with comparable levels of voice during collaboration and promoting employees based on merit, regardless of age. Resultantly, the proportion of Gen Z employees reporting low productivity reduced to 18% from 37%, while the proportion of millennials reporting low productivity decreased to 13% from 30%. Additionally, 87% of employees reported high work productivity at firms with intergenerationally-inclusive work practices. These findings were based on a survey of 1,450 employees in finance, technology, and professional services in the US and UK.  

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