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Millennials in the Multi-generational Workforce

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Employment
Wordcount: 2354 words Published: 19th Mar 2019

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In the modern work environment, organizations are now accommodating different generations and it has become common in several corporations. Since Baby Boomers are aging and retiring from their job, the millennial generations are also replacing them. As a result, it has become necessary for managers to learn more about organizational commitment levels as well as job satisfaction for the firm’s personnel. Studies indicate that the millennial generation seems to be more committed to their organizations than the previous generations. Besides, researchers affirm that millennials with graduate degrees will stay and offer their services to a firm for a more extended period than millennials without graduate degrees. Since organizations employ different generations from Baby Boomers, and Generation X, and Generation Y also known as Millennials, employees may sometimes go through conflicts arising from generational differences. With these regards, it is important for managers to understand the possible challenges which may erupt within the firms with multi-generational workforces and know how to respond to such problems.

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1.   Introduction

1.1  Problem Statement

Over the last six decades, three generations have been actively engaged in the workforce, and they include the Millennials (born after 1980), Generation X (born between 1946 and1964), and Baby Boomers; born between (1946 and 1964). Typically, the Boomers are retiring and more millennials are taking up these positions in different companies across the world and as a result, these generations interact and work together. The generational differences create challenges for the Human Resource managers to make sure that specific tasks are accomplished. According to the Lepine & Wesson (2011), they affirmed that generational differences have created challenges among team members who reduce an organization’s productivity. More importantly, many researchers and orgznizations are now trying to solve the issues related to generational differences which are influence the leadership and operation of an entity (Salahuddin, 2010). By taking the example of Tony, the millennial generation seems not to work under strict rules and regulations and once their firms’ policies differ with theirs, they quit the organization. Hence, it has become imperative for HR managers to study and understand the characteristics of millennials and their job satisfaction requirements such that they may retain them for more extended periods at the workplace.

1.2   Related literature

This section evaluates the literature related to millennials in the workforce and for a detailed understanding of their characters. Mainly, Generation Y have grown during the digital age and they show great familiarity on technology, media, and communication than Baby Boomers and Generation X, and thus, they are critical assets for their organizations. However, Tolbizie (2008), refers Generation Y as a “Trophy Generation” due to the emerging trend that this generation demands that everyone should be rewarded for participating in a competition rather than winning. Additionally, millennials don’t operate with indoor competition and politics. Furthermore, Rosenberg (2009) argued that the millennial generation has observed their parents being adversely affected by the “dot-com bubble” coupled with many bursts and rampant divorce rates. In this regard, the millennial generation seems to be cynical of long-term commitments and thus, they prefer to be more flexible in their professions rather than making it a routine of following the rules. Thus, this generation seems to prefer collective actions, are civic-minded, socially conscious, conventional, and confident among other traits (Hartman & McCambridge 2011).

As stated herein, Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce, and Generation Y is taking up these roles. Thus, it is essential for millennials to acquire the required leadership characters. In this regard, Gibson, Green, and Murphy (2010) have identified top five values for millennial managers: friendship, self-respect, health, security, and family. Additionally, the researchers compare the management styles among different generations and establish that they are more alike than different. Essentially, effective communication strategies are an essential aspect for every manager which relates to both individual and organizational effectiveness. Despite millennials are considered as the best in multitasking and technology skills. However, they are defective in communication. In this case, it is essential for HR managers to be concerned in understanding the leadership capabilities of this generation who will take over the leadership roles of the companies in the future. 

1.3  Theoretical framework

In this case, job satisfaction refers to the positive emotional wellbeing which results from an employee’s assessment and commitment to their job experiences. Additionally, organizational commitment applies to an employee’s aspiration to remaining a member of an entity. One of the theories that can be built from this study is that millennials have higher job satisfaction than the other generations. Other than that, millennials have higher value on job commitment.

2.   Discussion

This study will provide an essential basis for researchers and human resource managers to understand the millennial generation better. It is important to let managers study and understand the different job satisfaction for the millennial generation and know how to respond and handle their complaints. Besides that, the managers will seek to retain the millennials within the organization because they are part of the critical assets of an organization that should not lose. Howe and Strauss (2008) stated that millennials portray several characters which are unique from the rest of the previous Generations. For instance, they suggested that the members of this generation are hard workers and responsible for their actions, but they feel compelled to outshine their goals and objectives (Howe and Strauss, 2008). More than that, the millennial generation can improvise and multitask when it is required to do. Additionally, this generation works very hard and establishing good relationships in their daily activities. Furthermore, this generation has grown diversely and wants to learn new ideas and embrace them such that they can avoid group think. Also, because the millennials have been molded by both Baby Boomers and Generation X, they portray excellent leadership qualities and therefore they should be considered for leadership positions (Rosenberg, 2009). However, Millennials prefer job flexibility but dislike working under strict monitoring and too many rules and regulations.

From this analysis, Tony’s manager have to analyze the working environment and know the working conditions and the relationship between the rest of the employees integrate well with the millennials within the organization. If for instance there is no good relationship amongst the firm’s personnel, the outcome may affect the company’s productivity adversely because of lack of management. In this case, at the moment Tony seeks resignation and the manager knows that Tony tends to quit an organization once his policy differs with that of an organization. So, it is essential to engage him and try to understand what he terms as personal reasons for resignation. With these regards, it is necessary for the manager to recognize the millennial generation’s job satisfaction requirements and characteristics. Hence, the department should respond immediately to Tony’s concerns through engagement and discussions about his reputation and experience at the workplace.

Besides, from the proposition that millennials have higher job commitment levels than Baby Boomers and Generation X, this study aims at establishing the validity of this reason. In order to compare the study outcomes, the researcher should be experimenting using hypothesis. For instance, Yıldırım & Korkmaz (2017) associates the current hard economic times to employees’ commitment to their jobs. Therefore, since the labor market is almost flooded with numerous degree graduates, the millennials with graduate degrees find it necessary to stay committed to keeping their jobs rather than quitting to new locations. Besides that, McInnis-Day (2016) argues that the millennial women are more dedicated to their jobs than the females from the previous generation because of the difficulties they face before they get these jobs. Thus, the managers should consider hiring millennials, build and promote a culture of sharing and accepting every generation in the organization. In this case, the administration should acknowledge that despite the Baby Boomers and Generation X do not have a lot of expertise in matters of technology. Also, they have experience on what can be implemented to facilitate productivity with technological advancement.

3.   Conclusion

This study aims at learning and understanding the nature and characteristics of the millennial generation in the labor industry. Typically, Generation Y is becoming more dynamic forces in the labor sector and are emerging as leaders in different sectors. For instance, in the areas they have engaged themselves, despite their impatient nature, they show a unique characteristic of multitasking as well as technological specialist than the rest of the Generations. Besides, in the contemporary society, millennials are already contesting in political positions and educational reforms among other positions. However, based on the fact that the millennials were born during the technological era, it is quite unclear whether history will remember these people because they need to show how they contribute to transparency, accountability, and transformation at the workplace. Moreover, as the Boomers are retiring, the other generations plan, organize, control, and lead the workforce. The modern work environments are normally transforming themselves into technological settings to suit the current trends in the business and technical world. According to the studies, the millennials understand technology and can multi-task in many activities. Thus, along with the advancement in technology, the millennial generation may have a competitive advantage due to their technological proficiencies in media, communication and computers.

Studies show that millennials are hard worker and responsible for their actions. However, regarding to the case of Tony, they feel that they have to perform beyond their goals and objectives. More than that, the millennial generation can improvise and multitask when it is required to do. Additionally, this generation is team-oriented, and they enjoy working and establishing good relationships with every parts in their daily activities. Furthermore, this generation has grown diversely and they are also willing to learn new ideas. Also, because the millennials have been molded by both Baby Boomers and Generation X, they build a good leadership quality and therefore they should be considered for leadership positions. However, Millennials prefer job flexibility but dislike working under strict monitoring and too many rules and regulations. In order to meet the millennials job requirements and satisfaction in the future, the workplace needs to be integrated into the work processes because they are preoccupied with newer media. Nonetheless, Human Resource managers need to prepare accordingly for Generation Y.

4.   References

Bjork, I. T., Samdal, G. B., Hansen, B. S., Torstad, S., & Hamilton, G. A. (2007). Job satisfaction in a Norwegian population of nurses: A questionnaire survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 44, 747-757. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.01.002.

Colquitt, J. A., Lepine, J., & Wesson, M. J. (2011). Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Gibson, W. J., Greenwood, R. A., & Murphy, E. F. (2010). Analyzing Generational Values among Managers and Non-Managers for Sustainable Organizational Effectiveness. SAM Advanced Management Journal, Winter, 33-43.

Hartman, J. H., & McCambridge, J. (2011). Optimizing Millenials’ Communication Styles. Business Communication Quarterly, 74(1), 22-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1080569910395564

McInnis-Day, B. (November 01, 2016). Firms must adapt to a multi-generational workforce: international waters. HR Future, 11, 10-12. 

Rosenberg, M. (2009). Baby boom: The population baby boom of 1946-1964 in the United States. Retrieved from http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/babyboom.htm.

Salahuddin, M. M. (2010). Generational differences impact on leadership style and organizational Success. Journal of Diversity Management, 5(2), 1-6.

Tolbzie, A. (2008). Generational differences in the workplace. Research and Training Center of Community Living, 19, 1-13.

Yıldırım, N., & Korkmaz, Y. (April 01, 2017). Challenge of Millennials in Project Management: Insights on Attitudes and Perceptions of Generation Y in Software Development Projects. International Journal of Information Technology Project Management (ijitpm), 8, 2, 87-108.


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