Happy at Work
I’m posting a lot about generational differences on the Association Renewal Blog, particularly from the recent talk I heard by Arthur Brooks, who wrote the Smith Institute report on generational differences and associations.
There’s one important point I wanted to make over here, though. Brooks points out that Generation X and Generation Y (Millennials) have shifted the work/life balance to the “life” side, compared to the previous two generations. Younger generations have new standards for what it means to “like” one’s job or one’s workplace. Think about it, as Brooks said, if you complained to your grandfather that you hated your job, he’d reply “Well of course you do! Everyone hates their job!”
Seriously, though, the statistics bear out that younger workers are leaving their jobs more frequently. This is expensive to organizations. One of the reasons they are leaving, Brooks argues, is because they are not getting along with other people at work. They’re not happy. While this used to be the price you paid to get a paycheck, those standards are changing.
So do you do anything to create a happier workplace? Or is that considered not critical to the bottom line or to delivering the mission? I think Brooks (and I) would disagree.