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Overview of Midway College Study on Generations in the Workplace
 

Overview of Midway College Study on Generations in the Workplace

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Midway College survey finds generational differences of workers attitudes among Central Kentucky employees

Midway College survey finds generational differences of workers attitudes among Central Kentucky employees

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    Overview of Midway College Study on Generations in the Workplace Overview of Midway College Study on Generations in the Workplace Presentation Transcript

    • Generational Cohorts and Their Attitudes Toward Work Related Issues in Central Kentucky
      • A Quantitative Study completed by Midway College faculty from the Business Division and the Teacher Education Division
    • Never before has the American workforce been made up of employees from four distinct generations
      • Silent Generation – 8.5%
      • Baby Boomers – 39.6%
      • Generation X – 37.6%
      • Generation Y – 14.4%
    • Generations Defined
      • A generation has traditionally been defined as “the average interval of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring." This makes a generation around 30 years in length.
      • However, while this rule of thumb has served sociologists well in analyzing generations up to and including the Baby Boomers, it is less relevant for recent generations for two reasons.
        • First, because cohorts are changing so quickly in response to new technologies, changing career and study options, and because of shifting societal values, their characteristics can change in less than two decades.
        • Secondly, the time between birth of parents and birth of offspring has stretched out from two decades to more than three. (Strauss & Howe, 1991)
      • (Strauss & Howe, 1991)
    • Silent Generation Born: 1925–1942.
      • Key events:
      • Missed serving in World War II, but lived through it as children and adolescents who matured in the 1950s.
      • They came of age during the tension of the Cold War, experienced a long period of social stability and family unity, and then experienced significant disenchantment when the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal challenged their core beliefs about authority.
      • Over 40 percent of the men in this generation served in the military, and they believe in top-down control and centralized decision making.
      • Critical technological change in their lives:
      • The spread of private automobile ownership, use of early office “machines,” massive industrialization.
    • SHRM Study found these top workplace traits from the Silent Generation
      • Most:
      • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term
      • Respectful of the organization hierarchy
      • Like structure
      • Accepting of authority figures in the workplace
      • Give maximum effort
      • Least:
      • Embrace diversity
      • Technologically savy
      • Like informality
    • Silent Generation Born: 1925–1942.
      • Key values
      • Loyalty, self-sacrifice, stoicism, faith in institutions, intense patriotism.
      • When working with this generation, focus on:
      • Tradition, loyalty to a key issue in their lives, value of joint work ethic.
    • Baby Boomers Born: 1943–1960.
      • Key events:
      • This generation (the largest in U.S. history) grew up in an era of huge social change, but in a wealthy nation, often overindulged by their parents.
      • Because of the Cold War, Boomers, until they were well into their adulthood, lived in a world that might be snuffed out in a day.
      • They were the first generation in nearly 200 years to rebel openly against their government, and nearly every social, scientific, and cultural institution underwent significant change during their adolescence .
      • Critical technological change in their lives:
      • Television. In 1952 there were 4 million privately owned televisions. By the turn of the next decade there were over 50 million.
    • SHRM Study found these top workplace traits from the Baby Boomers
      • Most:
      • Give maximum effort
      • Accepting of authority of figures in the workplace
      • Results driven
      • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term
      • Retain what they learn
      • Least:
      • Like informality
      • Respectful of organizational hierocracy
      • Need supervision
    • Baby Boomers (Boomers) Born: 1943–1960.
      • Key values: Sense of entitlement, optimism, cynicism about institutions, competition, focused on career, endless youth
      • When working with this generation, focus on: Their value to the team, your need for them, their ability to improve your services, that your workplace is young and “cool.” Publicly recognize them whenever possible. Tell them that they can help “change the world” by working with you
    • Generation X Born: 1963–1980.
      • Key events: This generation has always worked in the shadow of the Boomers, who in many cases held GenXers’ careers back because they filled up all the jobs and refused to retire. GenXers are interested in stability, but that does not translate into the idea of staying with one organization. GenXers are confident, but very focused on their career path, even early in employment.
      • Critical technological change in their lives : Rise of the personal computer, cable TV, and video games.
    • SHRM Study found these top workplace traits from Generation X
      • Most:
      • Technologically savvy
      • Like informality
      • Learn quickly
      • Seek work/life balance
      • Embrace diversity
      • Least:
      • Respectful of organizational hierarchy
      • Like structure
      • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term
    • Generation X Born: 1961–1981.
      • Key values: Independence, self-reliance, desire for stability, informality, fun.
      • When working with this generation, focus on: Their value to the work of the organization, the value of independent thinking, your organization’s focus on work-life balance.
    • Generation Y Born: 1982 - 2005
      • Key events: These children of Boomers are the first generation born into a true high-tech society, and they are hardwired to the Internet. They are civic minded, even more than their parents, and have a value structure that includes lifelong learning, and a work-life balance. More than any other generation in American history, they are wired for collaboration and for working in groups.
      • Critical technological change in their lives: The connection of the Internet to everything in their lives, with an added dose of the rapid pace of technological advances and innovation. They grew up, and remain, connected.
    • SHRM Study found these top workplace traits from Generation Y
      • Most:
      • Technologically savvy
      • Like informality
      • Embrace diversity
      • Learn quickly
      • Need supervision
      • Least:
      • Respectful of organizational hierarchy
      • Like structure
      • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term
    • Generation Y Born: 1982 - 2005
      • Key values: Work-life balance, confidence, social commitment, complete comfort with technology, networking, realism, well-informed, superb time managers.
    • Generations in the Workplace
      • Research Process
    • Research Process to Discover Attitudes of Employee from Different Generations
      • The survey instrument had 35 questions
      • 1,000 surveys were distributed to Central KY employees from 17 organizations from various industries
      • 834 of those were completed and used in the tabulation of the survey results
    • Research Process to Discover Attitudes of Employee from Different Generations
      • 834 of those were completed and used in the tabulation of the survey results
      • All responses that were either “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” were coded with a “1”.
      • All responses of “Neutral”, “Disagree”, or “Strongly Disagree” were coded with a “0.”
    • Generations in the Workplace
      • Findings
    • Research Findings
      • Some significant differences in generational work attitudes between the generations, it also found some in common.
        • All three generations considered loyalty from their employer and maintenance of good working relationships as important.
        • Specifically the survey found that all generations take their performance appraisals seriously; they are all comfortable working with members of the opposite sex and people with different backgrounds, and comprehensive healthcare was important
    • Baby Boomers
      • Baby Boomers are significantly more likely than Generation X to agree with being
        • more work-focused than family-focused,
        • valuing organizational loyalty to employees, and
        • the need for comprehensive health insurance
    • Baby Boomers
      • Baby Boomers are significantly more likely than Generation X and Y to agree with
        • preferring in-person communication,
        • valuing a company-funded retirement plan, and
        • being loyal to their organization.
    • Baby Boomers
      • Baby Boomers see themselves as more work-focused and loyal to their organization.
      • Baby Boomers appear to be more likely than other generations to desire to protect their current job status and future retirement interests.
    • Baby Boomers
      • A desire to communicate in person rather than by electronic means which may relate more to a lack of familiarity with or possession of advanced computer skills rather than not wanting to use this form of communication, which younger generations acquired and practiced early in life.
    • Generation X
      • Generation X is significantly more likely than Baby Boomers to agree that they are:
        • strongly motivated by competition,
        • prefer group projects to individual projects,
        • believe that teams are more effective than individuals,
        • feel that it is important to have a strong voice in decision-making, and
        • value the opportunity for advancement.
    • Generation X
      • Generation X is significantly more likely than Generation Y to agree that the following issues are important:
        • a balance between work and family,
        • having a company-funded retirement plan, and being challenged at work.
        • they are also more likely to state that they are loyal to their organization and
        • they follow the proper chain of command.
    • Generation X
      • Generation X respondents were more likely than Baby Boomers and Generation Y to agree:
        • that they could consider job opportunities at another organization while remaining loyal to their current employer, and
        • that they would enjoy attending company-sponsored social events for employees and families.
    • Generation X
      • Generation X, based on their credentials (education and experience), would generally be more marketable than Baby Boomers nearing retirement and/or Generation Y, the newest entrants in the workforce with less experience.
      • Thus, it is not surprising that Generation X respondents were more likely to be more comfortable with considering job opportunities at another organization while remaining loyal to their existing employer.
    • Generation Y
      • Generation Y is significantly more likely than Baby Boomers to agree
        • that job security is their top priority,
        • that teams are more effective than individuals,
        • that time off from work is a strong incentive, and
        • that close supervision improves their performance.
    • Generation Y
      • Generation Y is significantly more likely than Generation X to agree that they considered themselves more work-focused than family-focused.
      • They are also significantly more likely than Baby Boomers and Generation X to agree on the
        • importance of opportunity for advancement, and
        • that competition, tuition aid, special recognition, and tangible rewards are all strong motivators.
    • Generation Y
      • Generation Y is significantly stronger in their desire for the opportunity for advancement than the Baby Boomers or Generation X, and
      • they see competition among co-workers as a strong motivator.
      • Generation Y values “close supervision” more highly when compared to Baby Boomers and Generation X respondents.
    • Generation Y
      • Considering Generation Y workers are usually the new employees in an organization, their desire to advance in an organization may be perceived as threatening to Baby Boomers and Generation X
    • Answers of Generations May be Linked to Phase of Life or Career
      • The study observes that some of the differences might be related to the phase of life or career of each generation.
        • Boomers are more likely than Generation X to be concerned about retirement, while Generation X is more concerned than Generation Y.
        • Another example would be that Generation X is more family-focused than Generation Y or Boomers, presumably because they are more likely to have young children.
    • Survey Implications for Cross-Generation Working Relationships
      • The key issue between and among all generations is the establishment and maintenance of good working relationships within the work place
    • Survey Implications for Cross-Generation Working Relationships
      • The research suggests that it might be best to look at those candidates as team members and leaders who valued items such as:
        • Loyalty to the organization (Baby Boomers most likely to chose over Generation X and Generation X more likely to value than Generation Y),
    • Survey Implications for Cross-Generation Working Relationships
        • Being challenged by their job (Generation X mostly likely to choose over Generation Y),
        • Preferring group projects to individual projects (Generation X more likely to choose over Baby Boomers), and
        • Belief that teams are more effective in accomplishing work projects than individuals (Generation X & Y more likely to choose over Baby Boomers)
    • Survey Implications for Recruitment and Retention
      • Considering this fact and the population shift through 2016 (rate of growth will be slower than the growth rate over the 1986-1996 and 1996-2006)
        • it would be well for employers to review the values and priorities of the different generational groups and formulate their compensation and benefit packages in a cafeteria package.
    • Significance of Research
      • This findings are particularly important in light of the changes taking place in the workforce including the flattening of the hierarchy and involvement of employees in decision making and heightened the interaction of employees from different generations.
      • As such, the study concludes that generational differences are likely an element of diversity that leaders of organizations need to be aware of and manage.