New Generational Research: Top 5 Reveals
October 12, 2020 by
With more than six living generations making up communities across the country, local government’s approach to service cannot be “one-size-fits-all.” Younger generations, for example, look for government information on social media. Older cohorts prefer websites or even communication by phone. In a time when effectively reaching and engaging all community members is imperative for public health and continuity of government operations, understanding and meeting generational differences is critical.
To understand how each major generation views its current and ideal government interactions, Tyler Technologies partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics on a first-of-its-kind national research study. Following are five surprising study findings:
- 61% of Gen Z trust social media more than government
- 41% of Millennials find working in local government appealing
- 59% of Gen X prefer to find local government information from a website, not social media
- 56% of Baby Boomers vote in local elections, compared with only 26% of Gen Z, and less than half of Millennials
- 85% of respondents across generations think government can do a better job engaging citizens, but they also think citizens need to become more involved themselves
Bonus Finding: Every generation, by a very large margin, wants to see online interactions with local government improved through clear, easy-to-use technology.
Community members of all demographics want opportunities for deeper engagement with local government. Connecting individuals to government means lots of things, most notably, informing, engaging, and enabling action. It means providing easy ways for residents to interact with agencies and consume information relevant to them. It means creating successful, user-centered policy and program delivery that allows constituents to become part of the government process.
Knowing the barriers each generation faces as well as each cohort’s desires with respect to government engagement can create these community-strengthening connections. The study’s insight can also help local governments maximize service delivery, enhance public participation, and foster partnerships necessary to navigate today’s challenges and weather what comes next.
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