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This research is aimed at seeking to comprehend the Generation Y’s employment related preferences, beliefs and attitudes as well as senior members’ and employers’ impression of this generation. It is understood from previous researches that there are certain areas of configuration within which this generation so called ‘Baby Boomers’ have realigned themselves. It is however worth noting that, differences in opinion and perceptions within the generation have surfaced, symptomatic of the existence of negative stereotypes, biases and perception, and potential zones of divergence and even clash at the place of work. Sometimes if these disagreements and negative perception are left uncontrolled, organizations will certainly lose their competitive advantage.
These elements are those that this study aims to develop in relation to shift of mindset and stereotypes within our management platforms. Both of the Baby boomers and other generations at work places should find it necessary to reflect upon their own impressions recognizing the time bared schools of thought and embrace the and take affirmative stepladder towards change.
The Generation Y is expansively known as the ages born between early 1980 and the year 2000. This is a generation with unique characteristics. This is a generation known to be independent of mind, results oriented and confident. Although information technology growth and expansion began in the previous generation known then as Generation X, the Y generation was begotten into an era dominated by technology and most often understands more in regards to the digital world hence known otherwise as the Digital generation. They further are perceived to know more about information technology than their teachers and their parents.
The generation’s enhanced technical know-how has thrown this generation into an age otherwise known as Global village that is accessible to everyone.
This generation has caused a lot of changes within the management divide. Most of these are highly associated with the beliefs and the values of these generations that suggest different ideals in the workplace. According to Nagle, (1999), work doesn’t define life. This is a belief held by the Generation X. Generation Y on the other hand appears to associate itself with a work-environment or work-life that is balance with flexibility and one which defines their position within the job.
It is within these parameters that this study aims to find out the challenges presented to the today managers at workplace who must always recruit, train and constantly motivate this highly sophisticated generation of employees so that their wealth of creativity can be utilized by the company. In order to succeed in the time to come, it will remain essential for organization and company managers to comprehend these new employees.
Majority of the Gen. Y’s focus more on their individuality, it is possible to argue that there exists very little relationship about the generation X and Y, their generation as a whole contains remarkably common characteristics. Generation Y’s were begotten into an age of information technology, praise, resource and indulgence. This has resulted to a myriad of defining traits.
This research seeks to provide a clear comprehension of the youngest generation in the management profession presently. It seeks to examine their traits, what attributes attracts or motivates them to work with are associate themselves with an organization and what keeps them with a particular employer, manager or management, as well as their career aspirations and the impacts for employers trying to bring them on board, develop and retain them.
Purpose and objective of the study
The purpose of this research would be to analyze in detail establishing the following:
Who are the Generation Y and their characteristics?
How are the Generation Y characteristics affecting the management systems?
What is the relationship of the current management styles with the Generation Y?
Significance of the Study
This article considers the impact of the new generation of employees entering the hospitality workforce and the changes in management paradigms that will be required to successfully recruit, select, train and motivate Generation Y to achieve the objectives of the company or the organization, given the premeditated significance of manpower management (human resources) in creating competitive and sustainable service organizations. This research aims to analyze the current state of mind on Generation Y’s job-related attitudes, values and behaviors and reviews the studies that have been carried out to the current date on the Generation Y in the work environment.
Generations X and Y
To better understand Generation Y, we first look at the preceding age group, Generation X, to determine how the two generations differ from one another and how these differences affect the work atmosphere. Generation X is usually explained as the age following the baby boomers and born between 1961 and 1979. The term is based on a novel by Douglas C (1991) adults trying to discover themselves in society. Terri Nagle (1999) describes Generation X as, “the most ignored, disheartened, misunderstood and disheartened generation that our country has seen in a long time.” This generation grew up during the beginning of the technological revolution era. Home computers, PCs and the internet became widely their characteristic (Everet, Craig R. 2010) everywhere. The “MTV” generation began growing up in unstructured households, dealing with new issues of disease and trying to make it through the Cold War. Generation X learned how to avoid the mistakes of their parents and grow into a generation who values education, hard work, and the power of money. These characteristics are quite different than Generation Y.
Generation Y is widely known as the generation born between 1980 and 2000. This generation is confident, independent, and goal-oriented. Although, technology advances began in the Gen X era, Generation Y was born into technology and often knows more about the digital world than their teachers and parents. The enhanced technological knowledge has launched this generation into an era that is accessible everywhere to anyone. Gen Y has high self-esteem; they are the trophy generation that allows every child to get a medal or praise, leaving no one behind.
The values and beliefs of these two generations suggest different ideals in the workplace. Generation X believes, “work is a thing you do to have a life (work doesn’t define their life),” (Nagle, 1999). Gen Y on the other hand seems to want a work-life balance with flexibility to define who they are in their job. Generation Y presents a challenge to managers who must train and motivate this next generation of employees so that their strengths become a benefit to the company. Being able to understand new generations as they move into the work force will continue to be an adjustment for managers for years to come. To be successful in the future, it will be important for companies and managers to understand these new employees.
According to studies that have been done by other peers it is evident that Generation Y workforce, management style was among the top motivational characteristics that Gen Y was interested in from an employer. They wish to be treated on an individual basis and acknowledged, whether it is positive or negative. As one respondent stated, “Acknowledgement is important. You are less likely to be motivated to do well if you are not acknowledged, whether you do well or not.”
A classic example of this is from the movie, Smith J et al (1999). The employees are all treated the same and when Peter Gibbons decides to change things in the office and do things his way. Instead of getting fired, he gets a promotion. Peter stepped out of the monotonous workforce and decided to create a motivating work environment. Another way for managers to increase the motivation on Gen Y workers is to challenge them at their daily tasks. Work can easily become boring and un-motivating to an employee who is constantly doing the same thing every day. To combat this, managers can assign different tasks to the employee; allow them to work on different projects and to keep an open mind to how the employee can bring new and motivating ideas to the company. As another study participant noted, “When an off the wall idea isn’t immediately shot down, I am more encouraged!”
Gen Y employees are motivated when given the freedom to work as they please. These employees do not want a manager telling them what to do at every second, but they do desire regular feedback. They prefer a guiding hand to a micromanager. Employees want to know if they are doing the job well and if they’re not, it is up to the manager to help train and motivate them to be the best they can. Gen Y needs be motivated through constant reward and recognition. “Because of their short attention span, recognition and rewards must arrive quickly,” (Nagle,1999).
Role of Managers in handling Generation Y
A very important role for managers is to create mentorships within the company. This allows the senior employees to reach out to the Generation Y employees and offer them advice and counseling in a new environment. This is a very successful way for Gen Y to learn about the values of the company, as well as gain insightful knowledge in an industry that is foreign to them. One of the respondents gave an example of this by stating: “Direction is important. You want to have a good mentor that will give you a sense of direction rather than having you aimlessly reaching.” Gen Y is not a generation that can remain happy without seeing the significance of their work. Wandering “aimlessly” and never seeing the end results of their work leaves them frustrated and unmotivated. As one respondent stated, “Why work on something if you have no idea what the benefit will be from efforts.” This is why communication is one of the most important aspects of dealing with Gen Y. If they feel their job has a sense of purpose, they stay motivated and open to direction and leadership from mentors. Employees who are open-minded are more apt to grow and develop in their industry. Ideas and knowledge can be transferred successfully through generations as long as everyone is open to new and old ideas and can find a way to build them into the daily office routine.
It is crucial for managers to understand that Gen Y craves continued education from their colleagues. They seek challenging tasks and have a desire to gain knowledge by working with the employees around them.
The survey method is will be used to investigate the level at which the characteristics and behavior of the Generation Y has impacted the management systems. According to Mugenda, (1999) and Mbweza, (2006), survey research seeks to identify what large number of people think or feel about certain issues. Given that the total number of respondents (comprising of the the youth through the social media, teachers and local leaders) is 150, this is relatively a large number of study sample compared to the study area to qualify this as a survey. (Moreso, Orodho, 2003) and (Mbweza, 2006) indicates that surveys are used to describe some aspects or characteristics of human population such as opinions, attitudes, believes or even knowledge of certain phenomenon. This study still fits as a survey as it seeks to find out and describe what the respondents know about Generation Y and overall generational shift, its benefits as well as its demerits as regards to management systems within companies and organizations both corporates and medium sized organizations.
The target population will comprise teachers, youth representatives, local leaders, managers and a sample of those within the social media network. Teachers will be targeted as they are perceived to understand and posses a lot of information as regards the youth and overall generational change and associated management dynamics when they teach and interact with the young generation who majority of them fall within the generation Y. It is thought therefore that they may have very important information that may help in this study. The youth representatives will also be targeted as they are the people who are so into the system and causing the management dynamics due to their characteristics of the workplace.
Sample selection and sample size
To select a representative sample, a researcher must have a sampling frame (Mugenda, 1999). This is a directory or index of cases from which a sample will be selected. The researcher will select a list of representatives from the target groups within the location of study. According to Orotho, (2005), sampling is a process of selecting a sub-set of cases in order to draw a conclusion about the entire set. Therefore the researcher will have three representatives of the target population.
The representatives will be expected to fill questionnaires, take part in interviews from their areas of work while those who are not employed will be requested to accompany the researcher in carrying out survey. The researcher will strive to formulate questions that will be given to the sample selected among the users of the social media network
Data collection instruments
The study will use questionnaires, focused groups discussions and interview method to obtain data from the respondents. Questionnaires method will enable the researcher to collect a large amount of information in reasonably quick space of time (Orotho, 2005). However, because of the importance of interviews in allowing the researcher to investigate and prompt things that we cannot observe (Wellington, 2000), they will be used on all respondents. Hence the interviews will enable all the respondents to give their account of situations which they have lived, gone through or seen. Interviews will also enable the researcher to acquire detailed information from the respondents. To obtain this in-depth information from the youth representatives and teachers, interviews will be best suited for this purpose. The interview will also be used to collect information from the teachers and the managers because their number is relatively manageable.
Before collecting the actual data, the researcher will carry out a pre-test on the questionnaires to enhance reliability of the instruments (Mugenda, 1999). The pilot study will enable the researcher to correct any ambiguity in the questionnaires. These instruments will be piloted within the College staff who will not be included in the actual study.
However, according to (Wiersma 1985), interviews and focused group discussions will not be piloted as they are verbal instruments that are used in the presence of the investigator who may correct any ambiguity that may exist in the questions by simply rephrasing the particular questions.
Validity of the Instruments
According to (Mbweza, 2006) Validity refers to the extent to which a test or instrument measures what it was intended to measure. The questionnaires in this study will be validated through application of content validity. Gay (1981) identified that content validity is a matter of judgment by the researcher and the professionals. There is no way it can be computed and there is no way it can be expressed quantitatively (Gay 1981). Hence the researcher will carry out deeper reviewing of the instruments with colleagues in order to enhance the validity of the instruments. The researcher will also consult widely from the project supervisor and other departmental and non-departmental lecturers for comments and suggestions which he will consider and incorporate in order to validate the questionnaires.
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