According to a survey done by Willis Towers Watson, a human resource consulting firm, about a quarter of the Americans will not retire at the average age of 65, but rather, they will continue working till 70 or even older. The same research further shows that 5% out of this number are not sure whether they will retire at all. Those who plan to retire at the prescribed age of 65 are also not sure about themselves. In fact, according to the survey, this group admits that there is 50% chance they will continue working till they are 70% ("One in four U.S. employees expect to work beyond age 70", 2017).
With these statistics, age becomes even more critical in the workforce. According to Neisse et al., (2009), aging brings different perceptions, opinions, emotions, and even priorities. Therefore, age will affect productivity, efficiency, and performance in a workplace making it an important factor in the management of the human resource.
A paramount factor that influences the performance of any worker is motivation, more specifically the job satisfaction. According to the study done by Clark et al.(1996), the findings from a random sample of 5000 workers shows that the relationship between age and job satisfaction is a U- shaped with the highest peaks representing the young and the old employees. This was however refuted by the findings of Eskildsen et al.(2003) which showed a positive correlation between job satisfaction and age. There are several reasons cited for trends. For instance, an older person is likely to have found the preferred career path and therefore gotten more satisfaction that motivates them to work more. For the studies showing a decline in job satisfaction, seeing a career end could be the demotivating factor.
Job satisfaction is multifaceted and this could explain the contradicting findings. However, there is limited information on what is the impact of an aging workforce to an organization as a result of changing job satisfaction due to age. This study will focus on identifying the factors that bring about this satisfaction shift with age and how consequently this change in satisfaction affects an organization.
2. Exploratory questions
What job satisfaction-related factors change with age?
What is the difference in motivation factors among the younger and aged employees? (Both intrinsic and extrinsic)
Secondary source guidebook
Productive aging by Morrow et al .(2001).
Surveys show that the ages of the working population are on the upward trajectory due to late retirement. This is, however, a point of concern because the previous studies have shown contradicting findings of the correlation between age and job satisfaction, which is very critical for the productivity of an organization. This study seeks to identify both the positive and negative correlation factors of age and job satisfaction of the employees and evaluate how they will impact the organization with aging (45 years and above) workforce. The findings of the study will be important in the making of effective policies to ensure the better performance amidst of aging labor force.
4.Possible solution exploratory question
What are the effective management approaches when dealing with an aging workforce?
What are the job satisfaction levels of a workforce consisting of people 45 years and above?
How do these satisfaction levels affect the individual productivity and that of the organization at large?
Clark, A., Oswald, A. & Warr, P. (1996). Is job satisfaction U-shaped in age? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 69, 57-81.Eskildsen, J, K., Kristensen, K. & Westlund, A. H. (2004). Work motivation and job satisfaction in the Nordic countries. Employee Relations, 26, 122-136
Morrow-Howell, N., Hinterlong, J. and Sherraden, M. eds., 2001. Productive aging: Concepts and challenges. JHU Press.
Neiss, M. B., Leigland, L. A., Carlson, N. E., & Janowsky, J. S. (2009). Age differences in perception and awareness of emotion. Neurobiology of aging, 30(8), 1305-1313.One in four U.S. employees expects to work beyond age 70. (2017). Willis Towers Watson. Retrieved 23 September 2017, from https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en/press/2016/06/one-in-four-us-employees-expect-to-work-beyond-age-70
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