Majority ‘Agree’ Older Workers Bring Experience/Insight (93%) and are More Loyal and Reliable than Younger Workers (78%)
Canadians Assess Workplace Stereotypes
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Toronto, ON – A new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid, the second in a series of workplace attitudes conducted exclusively for Postmedia News and Global Television, has given Canadians the opportunity to debunk or reinforce some workplace stereotypes regarding older workers that could be at play in Canada.
When it comes to the veteran workforce, almost all (93%) ‘agree’ (46% strongly/46% somewhat) that ‘older workers bring important experience and insight to the workforce’, while few (7%) ‘disagree’ (2% strongly/6% somewhat). Those aged 35+ are more likely (95%) than those who are younger (86%).
Most (78%) ‘agree’ (32% strongly/46% somewhat) that ‘older workers are more loyal and reliable than younger workers’, while just two in ten (22%) ‘disagree’ (4% strongly/18% somewhat). Older Canadians (90%) are most likely to agree, followed by middle-aged (83%) and younger Canadians (58%) – although still a majority of younger workers agree older workers are more loyal and reliable than they are.
While these stereotypes shine a positive light on the contributions of older workers, other stereotypes are not so kind, although most Canadians tend to disagree with them. Eight in ten (82%) ‘disagree’ (35% strongly/47% somewhat) that ‘older workers are less productive, coasting their way to retirement’, while less than two in ten (18%) ‘agree’ (3% strongly/14% somewhat). Nearly three in ten (28%) younger Canadians agree, compared to fewer middle-aged (16%) or older (11%) people.
Three-quarters (76%) ‘disagree’ (30% strongly/46% somewhat) that ‘older workers are a burden to employers because they generally cost more and get more vacation time and benefits’, while one-quarter (24%) ‘agree’ (4% strongly/20% somewhat) with this sentiment. Younger Canadians are most likely (33%) to agree, compared to middle-aged (21%) and older folks (20%).
A majority (60%) ‘disagree’ (15% strongly/45% somewhat) that ‘older workers gets less respect from their younger counterparts’, while a minority (40%) ‘agree’ (10% strongly/30% somewhat) that this is the case. Those aged 35+ are more likely (43%) than those under 35 to agree (32%) that this is the case.
Three-quarters (74%) of Canadians, however, ‘disagree’ (19% strongly/55% somewhat) that ‘younger workers have most of the best ideas’, but one-quarter (26%) tend to ‘agree’ (3% strongly/23% somewhat) that they do. Not surprisingly those aged 18 to 34 (39%) are most likely to think so, followed by those aged 55+ (25%) and 35 to 54 (17%).
Although most Canadians have for the most part decided one way or the other on most workplace stereotypes regarding older workers, there is one in particular that divides them. Half (51%) ‘agree’ (8% strongly/42% somewhat) that ‘older workers are harder to train on new processes or technologies’, while the other half (49%) ‘disagree’ (13% strongly/36% somewhat). A majority of younger workers (71%) agree, while only a minority of middle-aged (43%) and older (43%) workers agree.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between July 10 and 13, 2012, on behalf of Postmedia News and Global Television. For this survey a samples of 1,005 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.
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