Demographic Change Is Expected to Have a Significant Effect on a) the Age Composition of the Workforce and B) the Work-Attitudes of Different Generations.

Topics: Generation Y, Employment, Labor force Pages: 5 (1404 words) Published: April 6, 2009
Name '' Souvik Brahma

Module '' ODHRM 1
Organisational Dynamics and Human Resource Management 1

TASMAC ID '' 8100025

Wales USN: 0811866897310


“Demographic change is expected to have a significant effect on a) the age composition of the workforce and b) the work-attitudes of different generations. “

Give an account of some of the changes that are expected in each of these areas and discuss the implications such change might have for approaches to: i) diversity; and ii) employee and manager’s behaviour.


Demographic refers to characteristics of a portion of population. Demographic in workforce includes age, race, income, education. By 2020, close to half the adult population of the UK will be over 50 years old.[i] In the UK, by 2012 only a third of the workforce will be male and under 45.[ii] 33% of workers aged 50 - 65 in the UK have a disability.[iii] The nature of the illnesses giving rise to early retirement and disability claims is changing: stress-related and mental health problems are now increasingly common.[iv] As follows we will look into the changes in age section and effect it has on implication in organisation.

We can generally identify four generational groups that are currently active in workforce for an organisation:  
• Traditional workers who value loyalty and discipline, and respect authority and hierarchy. They are directive, command-and-control leadership style and very individualistic. For them the motivator factors are loyalty and respect. During strong economic development they were the key force in their companies.  

• Baby Boomers, they joined the workforce between mid-1960s and the late 1970s. This was the crucial years when most European countries enjoyed great success and significant progress. In contrast to their earlier generation they are more optimistic and self-motivated. For them the work ethic and value is more of work efficiency, crusading causes, with desire for quality. Leadership style is highly consensual and collegial, more of a team player and like to have meetings for interaction. For them title recognition and extrinsic rewards like money are motivational factor. They are predominant workaholics in the work force and occupies largest proposition of higher corporate responsibility.  

• Generation X who likes to eliminate the task and value self-reliance. With down-sizing and de-layering they prefers more informal environment with no hierarchical authority as a direction for more flexible structure than the traditional ones. They prefer flexibility and conciliation. With scepticism toward organisations they make very good entrepreneurs as their interaction base. This generation is rich in international experience and has the best academic training as a way to get there.  

• Generation Y lives with information technology as their prime mean of communication. They value tenacity and entrepreneurial in workplace and are more of goal-oriented and multitasking. More individualistic than other generations and demand balance between their social and personal life. Emphasis on participation in their opinions and behaviour. They believe in earn and spend and low on loyalty to organisation as for them work is the mean of end fulfilment.

Age composition of the workforce is ageing in UK and then by the next decade the trend of early retirement is out phased as they tend to work longer due to fall in pension values. Currently the workforce is mostly consisting of younger or older workers. The value and equity of job performance and satisfaction is different in each generation. In the same perception they also have different expectancy, instrumentality and valence in regard to compensation and what motivate them to work or not, which is main factor in turnover and absenteeism. Organisation culture and structure need to change for a proper design for employee’s involvement in achieving Organisational goal....

References: [i] Roger Coleman, 2006. An introduction to inclusive design. [online] Available at:
[ii] Women and Equality Unit, quoted in Business Voice, CBI, November 2005
[v] Maren Peter, 2006. Second careers and the third age: you 're only as old as your new job. The Guardian [internet] 19th Jan. Available at:,,1689809,00.html
Gareth R
J. Ivancevich, R. Konopaske, M. Matteson, 1987. Organisational Behavior and management. 7th ed. New Delhi : Tata Macgraw-Hil Companies.
Stephanie Armour, 2005. Generation Y: They 've arrived at work with a new attitude. [online] USA Today. Available at: [accessed 11th Aug 2005].
Greg hammill, 2005. Mixing and Managing four generation of employees. [online article] FDU magazine. Available at:
Cristina simon, 2007
K.S., 2007. Innovative ageing workforce strategies for employers. [online] Maturemarket. Available at: [accessed 26th Nov 2007]
Leon Foster-hill, 2008
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