The analysis of the Australian workforce

Through the analysis of the Australian workforce it can be seen that there are predominantly three generations within the 21st century labour market. These are generation X, Y and the Baby Boomers. Each generation is shaped by the time period in which they were raised, the life experiences offered and the economic and social influences of their time. This has resulted in each generation having evidently different attitudes and values towards work and life and how the two coincide with each other.

In order to make an organisation sustainable, managers need to acknowledge the effect of these generations working together as a whole and how they will have to incorporate this into the organisational structure and policies. It can be found that in general the Baby Boomer cohort is hard working, loyal and devoted. They prefer structured work arrangement and have a high motivator towards pay related rewards. On the other hand, generation X and Y prefer flexible work arrangement such as an 8am-5pm day and a variety of tasks, reducing a repetitive job description.

They have a high value for social life and are status ego meaning they expect promotional incentives within months of employment. The 21st century problems as a result of these differences have a great influence on attraction and retainment resulting in a change of organisational culture and structure. These problems deal with rewards, training, job design, cultural environment, skill utilisation and opportunity, reinforcement and flexibility. Whilst rewards may cater to the individual wants and expectations of each generation, they must be of a perceived equal value.

This can be done through the utilisation of Adam’s Equity Theory. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory can aid in motivating staff by encouraging positive reinforcement and reward systems on the achievement of tasks. In order to implement task variety, managers and Human Resource representative can utilise management by objective concepts to implement long and short term goals to those that would benefit from them. The planning process and change at a managerial level will aid in solving problems such as a lack of training.

This will prevent the organisation from being unsustainable through problems such as labour and skill shortages and an aging workforce as the Baby Boomer generation prepares for retirement. Organisations can solve many of these generation problems and thus become sustainable through job sharing, flexible work arrangement, mentoring programmes and training packages. This report will discuss the differences between the work/life values and attitudes held by the generational groups of Generation Y and X and the Baby Boomers.

It will then go on to discuss how these differences will implicate upon organisations in the 21st Century and based on these implications examine ways in which managers should integrate policies to aid in making their organisations sustainable. This report will also provide suitable recommendations that should be observed as this will help in improving the sustainability of an organisation. The report will discuss in detail the main differences held by each generational group towards their work values and attitudes.

Staff attraction, retainment and change of organisational structure and culture will be discussed, as these are the impacts of such differences on organisations operating in the 21st century. Using this knowledge the report will further go on to explain how the implementation of motivational theories such as equity and expectancy theories as well as goal setting can be used by managers to aid in preventing skill and labour shortages, retention of an aging workforce through generational integration and job sharing, all of which will provide for a more sustainable organisation.

Recommendations for all identified implications will be respectfully out lined, stating each suggestion and their benefits in implementation. In conclusion, the main findings will be stated and a plan of execution of subsequent recommendations will be discussed.