IB10_MultiGenValue

Human Resource Management (Available Titles Coursemate)

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Issue Brief 10 About This Study Many of the findings discussed in this Issue Brief are the result of new analyses we completed using information gathered from the wage and salaried workers (N = 2,785) who responded to the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW). 25% of the respondents who provided their ages were between the ages of 18-30, 48% were between the ages of 31-49, and 27% were 50 years or older. The National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW) is conducted every five years. It surveys large samples of the U.S. workforce to collect information about both the work and personal lives of U.S. workers. The NSCW builds upon and expands the scope of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Quality of Employment Survey , which was discontinued following 1977 data collection. Data from the NSCW surveys (1992, 1997, 2002) are available (www. familiesandwork.org) for use by other researchers and have been extensively analyzed with many findings presented and published. Numerous reports presenting findings from different analyses of the NSCW can be found on the website of the Families and Work Institute. We explore the following questions: What is a human capital framework, and how can it be used to think about the costs and benefits associated with employees of different ages? Are there links between employees’ age and the value that they might bring to the workplace? What are some of the connections between age and the costs associated with employees? Introduction The age composition of the U.S. workforce is changing, in large part due to the aging of the very large Baby Boom generation and also because there are fewer Generation X and Y workers that follow them in the workforce pipeline. 1 Although the specifics of these workforce demographic shifts are expected to vary from industry to industry and from workplace to workplace, the trend of the aging of the workforce is clear. In 2005, employees 55 and older comprised 16.2% of the labor force. By 2050, that number will grow to almost one fourth (23%) of the labor force. 2 The age demographics of the workforce matter to businesses for several reasons. Age and age-related factors (such as significant life course events) may affect employees’ attitudes and behaviors, which in turn, might 4 Today’s Multi-Generational Workforce: A Proposition of Value by Ce Shen, Ph.D., Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Ph.D., & Michael A. Smyer, Ph.D. Issue Brief 10 August, 2007 affect performance and productivity. Employees’ experiences at the workplace can be linked to age and career stages. HR policies and programs may align better with the needs and priorities of employees of some ages and life course stages than others. For example, steps taken to recruit young workers might be more or less effective for older workers. Despite employers’ growing interest in how the changing age demographics of the workforce might impact their businesses 3 , to date there has been limited attention paid to the assessments that employees of different ages make of their own work situations.
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IB10_MultiGenValue - Issue Brief 10 August, 2007 Todays...

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