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Importance of and Satisfaction with Organizational Benefits for a Multigenerational Workforce

Nancy J. Gladwell, Catherine E. Dorwart, Charlsena F. Stone, C. Andi Hammond

Abstract


Today’s workforce comprises workers from four different generations, including Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. To effectively manage such a diverse workforce, managers must understand the values, attitudes, and other organizational factors that may influence these different generations’ satisfaction in the workplace. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the similarities and differences among four generations of members of a professional state recreation and park association in regard to the level of importance of and satisfaction with organizational benefits. An online survey elicited the following information: the importance of organizational benefits, level of satisfaction with the same benefits, and personal and professional demographics. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and MANOVA. Importance-Performance (IP) Analysis was used to evaluate the importance of benefits to a multigenerational workforce in today’s economy. Factor analysis of the importance of organizational benefits items resulted in three factors and two factors for the satisfaction with organizational benefits items. Further results indicated there were no significant differences with the importance factors or the satisfaction factors between the three generations. One possible explanation could be that current economic conditions have led to such cost-saving methods as reducing or eliminating many “expected” benefits, as well as cutting entire positions. Thus, respondents may have the attitude that “a job with some benefits is better than no job and no benefits.” Today’s parks and recreation workforce is experiencing a unique phenomenon. Demographic trends in this country have led to a moment in time where four generations may be working simultaneously in the same organization. Findings from this study have several valuable implications for parks and recreation managers. The findings provide empirical evidence indicating that parks and recreation employees from three multigenerational groups differ in the importance of and satisfaction with several organizational benefits offered in their workplace. While departments cannot afford to offer the best of every benefit, they also can ill afford to underinvest in the benefits that are most important to their employees. Managers, therefore, should be creative in allocating fiscal resources toward those benefits that have the greatest impact on each employee. The demographics of the emerging workforce in parks and recreation are ever changing. Therefore, parks and recreation managers should consider embedding multigenerational perspectives into the design and promotion of their benefit programs.?

Keywords


Multigenerational workforce, organizational benefits, employee satisfaction

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