Generational Differences in the Evaluation of Labor Market Leaving Models: The Example of the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation Z.
Chapter three: Survey Analysis section.7- 9pages
Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: The Doors of Opportunity are Open provides a lot of insight into the workforce and what it takes to keep a workplace and its employee satisfied. When looking at the results of this survey and how it all relates to the 600 employees surveyed, there was an even split of three primary generations; Millennials (38%), Generations X (35%) and Baby Boomers (26%). There were only 2% of Veterans that took the survey and as noticed in most researched most have been retired out of the workforce for many years. The diversity, opinions, and ideas of job satisfaction and employee engagement within these three generations provides a unique opportunity for leadership to really understand these co-horts and build opportunities around each group along with building them up as a whole.
Kapoor and Soloman (2011) breakdown each generation characteristic traits as they relate to the workplace. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are found to have the “live to work” mentality and “tend to respect authority and hierarchy in the workplace” (Gursory et al, 2008). They have tried to adapt and embrace technology. Dahlroth (2008) notes they are having embraced email and respond openly to others who rely on technology for their personal and professional life. Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, have been identified as self-reliant, multi-taskers who can have a skepticism with authority (Crumpacker and Crumpacker, 2007). They are advocates of managing a work life balance, so they tend to work smarter and efficient to make that balance a reality. Millennials, born between 1980 and 1999, embrace technology and all that it brings, which includes constant change. Spiro (2006) states that Generation Y, “are more affluent, more technologically savvy, better educated and more ethnically diverse hat other previous generations” (p.17). Unlike Generation X who thrives on independent working, Millennials crave teamwork and group work. They often require more coaching and feedback to build confidence in their work. Breaking down each generation and their initial working characteristics lays a foundation of how this survey relates to all the participants in the survey.
This survey provides a lot of awareness to the needs of employees and what job satisfaction looks like to them. It was clear to see that fairness and transparency is critical in any organization to keep employees satisfied and create a trustworthy working environment. Knouse (2011) suggests the generation Y cohort excels in teamwork settings, they thrive on structure and specific goal. this is a way for them to channel their optimism when contributing to the team. Organizations that provide employees with a level of openness and fairness as key elements to their company structure creates trust fairly quickly and allows for individuals to feel part of the bigger picture and success of the organization. This allows for the foundation to be strong and sound to be productive and offer an open floor for ideas, opinions and communication to flow freely and openly and create dynamic conversations and decisions as a whole. When offering these concepts into the workplace it protects relationships and negates the unnecessary bad behaviors, poor teamwork and development growth among peers. Offering this structure in the policies and procedures set the foundation of how an organization can and will be successful when equality and transparency are committed by top down and bottom up. The goal is to drive the team to success and offering the ideal playing field to do that only sets up an organization to do just that.
Respect and trust are established by the leadership. Brazeel (2009) adds value to this statement as it relates to Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are often loyal and trusty worthy employees. “Baby Boomers are characterized by their hard work, long hours, and commitment to their employers” (Southard & Lewis, 2004, p.10). This generation is successful due to their trust and respect that they have established over years of working and the loyal they pride themselves on. Baby Boomers also value job security and the notion they will be protected in their role and the company. As mentioned in the survey, this went across the board of all members of the survey that having a sense of security in your job and workplace, you will remain loyal to the company. Leadership that provides an open and honest policy and welcomes opinions, ideas to keep things fair, creates a safe and trustworthy work space where respect is held and ideas are valued. As this was observed as important and necessary, some leaders of the older generations (Veterans and Baby Boomers) are adapting to this new concept. Glass (2007) agrees this is a new idea that leaders what to be focusing on “effective communication” along with “incorporating collaborative decision making” (p.101). will offer a fresh outlook on the open door policy approach and begin to build relationships among all levels of the organization. This is when trust is built and employees feel valued, welcome and satisfied.
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