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Program Web Address

www.uq.edu.au

Abstract

Our understanding of employee attitudes and their impact on business outcomes has been further complicated in recent years by the newest cohort of service workers. Known as Generation Y (Gen Y), they appear to approach employment in a manner different to that of their predecessors. A review of the academic literature reveals little empirical evidence to support an appropriate understanding of the impact of such difference. This paper provides an overview of a large-scale study into generational differences in employee attitudes and reports on the preliminary data analysis of a survey of over 900 hospitality employees. The most important initial finding from the data analysis is that, on the whole, Gen Y employees have lower scores on those constructs that an organization should be attempting to maximize. Non-Gen Y employees are more satisfied with their jobs, more engaged and more affectively committed to the organization they work for than their Gen Y counterparts, amongst a range of other important constructs. Conversely, Gen Y employees display higher scores onthe constructs that an organization would want to minimize in its staff. Gen Y employees are more likely to be planning to quit their jobs, are more likely to perform poorly if their co-workers are doing so, and are also more likely to switch jobs for no particular reason. The discussion covers implications for management as well as directions for future research.