DIFFERENCE IN JOB SATISFACTION AND WORK LIFE BALANCE BETWEEN GEN X AND GEN Y
The report is on the difference in job satisfaction and work life balance between Gen X and Gen Y. The differences in the generations have been researched and studied in regard to the workplace. The studies have found some differences in the generations, in the work value. For example, the work ethic and work centrality declined progressively from the Generation X to Generation Y. The studies indicate and confirm the existence of generational differences in the context of work. However, there are no confirmations on the relationships between the diverse work attitudes in respect to generation. The report gives the extent of the generational power between the three work connected behaviors and attitudes. This is in regard to; job involvement, organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) and work satisfaction (Irvine, 2010). The paper discusses the generation mitigation on the job effect that involves two dimensions of OCB. This is done in consideration that the effects of the interactions are more positive, and geared towards the Gen X more than Gen Y employees. The effects are discussed and how goal combined with rewards can and does encourage unethical behavior in work.
Generation signifies a group of the populace within related age groups, born in the similar time of culture and history. The generational differences have no distinct and supreme beginning and end. However, the generational distinctions are considered to span between 15-20 years. Hodge and Crampton (2007) notes, this is what gives rise to the current four generations existing in the workplace, namely; Baby Boomers, Veterans, Generation Y and Generation X. There are many varied, generational groups, which are occupied in the work force in the contemporary times. The Generation Y has individuals that are evident in the labour market. This has made the workplace be made up of individuals with four discrete generational groups. The generation groups include; Baby Boomers, Generation Y, Generation X and veterans who are the retired group. These distinct generation groups have their own views on authority, communication style, set of values, attitudes towards work, expectations of their work environment and leaders. This means that managers and leaders who can deal with the varied generational groups requires adaptation to the environment and themselves, harness the attributes of the different generation groups in meeting the needs of their organizations.
Understanding the generational differences needs the definition of generation and the establishment of a classification that derives the typical characteristic of every generating. Therefore, generation can be defined as a group of individuals who were raised and born in a comparable historical and social atmosphere. In addition, generation can be defined as exclusive life events that happened in significant stages in life. This is to say the categorization of generation puts in mind the sociological and statistical events in the definition. Moreover, the definition employs a variety of proportions that embody noteworthy historical events that were knowledgeable to the group members like; catastrophes, significant innovations, technological developments and wars. People born between 1965 and 1981 are regarded as Gen X, while, those born after 1982 are Gen Y. The degree of job satisfaction is, a significant positive effect, shown in the identification of the job involvement factor. In addition, there is no interaction effect that is found on job satisfaction over job involvement (Chughtai, 2008).
Attributes of each Generation
The generation members of the group are also called Busters. The generation comes after the golden epoch of the Baby Boomers. The generation X was born in the challenging socioeconomic realism that was marked by the outbreak of AIDS epidemic, unstable economy, scandals involving governments and organizations, and the end of the Cold War. These events marked and resulted to the generations’ lack of trust. The events led to a propensity to rely, on people’s initiative, to develop creativity and independence. The generation was the first to be exposed to the technological and media breakthroughs. The parents of Gen X both worked and led to the rise of the notion of latchkey kids. The generation is characterized by independence, self confidence, and they dislike supervision. However, the generation has learned to provide and accept ongoing and immediate feedback. Gen X at work environment seeks self satisfaction, and the generations are can work in a multicultural environment. In addition, the generation wants to have fun, and they also have a realistic approach of achieving results. The generation has many members who embarked on the labour market at a time when the economy was at a low point. The generation grew up with parents who had suffered the failure of their occupational insecurity and jobs. This led to the generation to redefine the notion of work loyalty. Gen X is loyal to their managers, colleagues and jobs they work with instead of being loyal to the organization. This is by taking employment seriously; nevertheless, they are not committed to the career that is coupled to a single organization. Somewhat the generation X moves from place to place and the stopping and beginning again.
The generation was the last born in the 20th century. The name was coined by the magazine called Advertisement Age in 1993. The generation is also referred to as; Generation Next, Millennium Generation, and Echo Boomers. Gen Y was born in the age of media, technology and instantaneous technology. The children in this generation are the center of attraction with exactly everything gyrating around them. The children received abundant attention, and expectations of them were high. In addition, the parents of the children in this generation cultivated self confidence in the children. Gen Y, is group oriented, and joins together at social events like; pubs, parties among others. They do not separate into couples, and this has resulted in their working well in groups and prefers to work as a team instead of individual effort. Furthermore, the generation is adept at working hard and multitasking. The generation expects the organizational structure, seek a relationship with the manager, and appreciate status and knowledge (David, 2010). This is in contrast to the Gen X managers who prefer individual work and independence. This is the generation that needs mentoring as they are new employees. The generation also responds well to individual attention. Nonetheless, as the generation appreciates stability and structure, they need a formal training schedule, program, and a consistent authority. The generation is also highly conscious of the civic responsibilities and is; therefore, inclined to volunteer. In addition, Gen X asks questions, acts in accordance with the results and is inquisitive.
Implications of the Generations
Studies and research have measured the effects of the varying generational attributes in the work environment. The three generations give a profile of the levels of diversity in the workplace. Moreover, there are also substantial differences that exist between the generations. Gen X exhibits self confidence and independence that they attained during their childhood. The generation is prone to cynicism and is suspicious. Chughtai (2008) says they value a poise involving job and relations. Gen X does not show loyalty to their bosses as they have no loyalty expectations from their superiors. The generation’s motivations include having fun in the work environment, highlighting the importance of their role, and leaders or managers accepting skepticism for a good boss- employee relationship. Gen Y, on the other hand, are the Baby Boomer’s children, yet, they posses attributes that are contrast to their parents. The generation exemplifies social networking, technical expertise, and the aptitude to be connected to features that irritate their parents. In addition, they are always searching for reliable channels of promotion. Gen Y desires feedback and attention at the work place. In spite of the separate profiles, there are only limited variations among these generations in regard to work satisfactions, values at work, intention of leaving an organization, and the organization's commitment.
The additional aspect of the generational effect in terms of the relationships between the generational differences and the two work attitudes and behavior of an organization are examined. In addition, the examination of the generations’ role in the relationship between work satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational citizenship behavior is examined. The job involvement, the studies found, was related to a greater extent to OCB and the work satisfaction. The relationship exists in the degree of effect; this is in the factor of identification instead of the job involvement. The organizational citizenship behavior and work satisfaction are true from the studies. This gives the contemporary feature of the working world where there are extremely demanding jobs like; the high tech companies. These need employees to work, for extra hours, by making work, central to their lives without any choice. The OCB and satisfaction can be explained by this fact, and this can represent a choice and associates to the emotional and psychological relationship. For example, the satisfaction of the requirements of the employees in regard to the Social Exchange Theory and not just on the effort and the amount of time they devote to their jobs. The distinction has led to the two dimensional conceptualization of job involvement (Dina & Aharon, 2011). However, the concept needs redefinition as a three dimensional structure that includes; an intentional behavioral dimension that involves doing more than what is expected in given position, conscious psychological state that is active and self esteem participation, and emotional association such as liking and interest.
A comparison of Gen Y and Gen X shows that the latter is more concerned about achieveing work-life balance than the younger generation. Research shows that Gen X are more comfortable working conventional shifts from 9am- 5pm than Gen Y (Dina & Aharon, 2011). As a result, Gen X have more time to spend with their families and on other life activities as they do not advocate carrying their work home. On the contrary, Gen Y approach their employment from the perspective of the employer. Hence, they work to achieve goals and not just to finish their shift and go home. When it comes to work-life balance, Gen Y rely on technology to achieve this balance. This can be seen in the way this generation uses the internet to complete their work and at the same time maintain relationships via social media. It is also essential to note that there is a difference in the way the two groups work: Gen X works hard because it is what is required of them; Gen Y works smart to stay ahead of other employees.
The understanding of the different generations can give managers and leaders an opportunity to know what motivates and drives their employees. This involves recognizing employees as individuals who bring exceptional perspectives, views and insights to the organization. Therefore, the managers need to find for ways of engaging the different generational groups and individuals in the organization. This can help solve and understand how goals and reward combined can and does encourage unethical behavior in an organization. This is because the generations that are younger studies indicate; they ascribe more to the significance of status compared to the older ones. This may be as a result of the older generation having already achieved their status in the workplace. Subsequently, Gen Y shows a higher appreciation for their work than Gen X. This is mainly attributed to the desire by Gen Y to have autonomy from their families. Consequently, if the generation does not find satisfaction from their current employment, they look for another job. David (2010) acknowledges that all the two generations indicate a minimal relationship between the work values and individuals linked with less organizational commitments and work satisfaction and a a desire to quit their job. The generations differ when it comes to behaviors, and values and these are due to the various backgrounds that the generations were born. The variations in the work environment of the generations and their implications have no studied consistency.
A positive relationship exists between the identification factors of job involvement and one of the five dimensions of OCB. This is a civic virtue that is behavior directed in an organization. The civic virtue indicates the undertaking of the personal responsibility in the participation in an organization’s political life like making suggestions for use of resources efficiently, attending meetings, among others. The employees that strongly identify with the organization are expected to make more effort in improving the effectiveness and productivity. The effects of the interactions between the generation on OCB and job involvement find interaction that exists between generation and centrality factor. The centrality of work when greater provides for a more optimistic result of the civic asset of the Gen X employees than Gen Y. The latter generation is more loyal to the organization, appreciates the hard work, workaholics, invests more in their jobs, and work extra hours than Gen X employees who seek pleasure at work, value the balance between work and family, and are more loyal to their selves than the workplace. Gen X is at the height of their integration in the workplace and has spent considerable time in the organization or profession and; thus, feel comfortable engaging in civic virtue behavior (Hodge & Crampton, 2007). The generation is familiar with the processes of the organization and is, in a position, to enhance the effectiveness and suggest methods of solving problems. This indicates how combining a goal and rewards in an organization can encourage unethical behavior among the different generations.
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Quality and appropriateness of sources
Introduction is thorough and well written
Identification and analysis of business trends
Identification and analysis of generational difficulties in employee management
Evaluation of ways businesses can manage the diversity issues in Gen X and Y
Conclusion and recommendations for future research