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© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. From Baby Boomers to Generation Y: Motivation across the Ages Tatiana Gulko, OPP Ltd. Sofia Lundahl, Lund University Philippa Davis, Oxford University
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Presentation overview Why did we carry out this research? Method Results Discussion of findings Implications Q & A session
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Background Baby Boomers & Generation Y Age-diverse workforce How do we motivate a group comprising five different generations?
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. How do we motivate different age groups? Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (SST; Carstensen 1991) Younger people are motivated by future- oriented goals Personality Associated with age Sociogenic model (Inkeles & Levenson, 1963) Social environment influences personality
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. The current research SST & Personality research Explain motivational drivers in different age groups Previous research suggests: Neuroticism & Anxiety: decrease with age Conscientiousness & Agreeableness: increase with age
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. The current research How do age cohorts differ in terms of what motivates them at work? How can personality help to explain these trends? Is there evidence of personality differences across age cohorts?
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Method A nationally representative sample of mixed-gender working age adults (1067 participants) Data was collected via an online panel Participants completed the 16PF questionnaire, alongside additional questions Age range: 16 to 65 years
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Method We evaluated the population by demographic age cohort: 1) year olds 2) year olds 3) year olds 4) year olds 5) year olds
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Measures: The 16PF (Personality Factors)
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: What is important for different age groups? Motivational ElementSummary “How important is intellectual challenge to you?” No significant differences between age groups “How important is it that you develop your skills and abilities?” Significant differences. Most important for year olds “How ambitious would you say you are?” Significant differences. Most important for year olds “Do you work to live or live to work?”No significant differences between age groups
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: Age groups and personality traits Emotional Stability Significant differences between year olds and year olds Gradual increase in Emotional Stability with age Liveliness Significant differences between year olds and year olds There is a slight ‘dip’ with the year old group, which goes back up at 35-49, followed by gradual decline after
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: Age groups and personality traits Rule-Consciousness Significant differences between most groups The year olds are most rule-conscious Abstractedness Significant differences between year olds and year olds year olds are highest on this trait
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: Age groups and personality traits Apprehension Highest with year olds Self-Reliance: Highest in year olds There is a gradual increase in Self-Reliance, with a slight dip at the year old age group
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: Personality traits and motivation Multiple regression results “How important is it that you develop your skills and abilities?” Emotional stability (0.028) Rule-Consciousness (0.028) Apprehension (0.028) “How ambitious would you say you are?” Abstractedness (0.040) Self-reliance (-0.027)
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: Personality, age and motivation Q: Do personality traits account for differences between age groups and motivation? Analyses of Co-variance (ANCOVA) revealed: Motivator: Importance of developing skills and abilities Age a significant predictor, after controlling for Emotional Stability and Rule-Consciousness: findings suggest that age contributes unique variance Apprehension no longer a significant predictor, once age group was controlled for: findings suggest that age group may explain the influence of Apprehension on this motivator
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Results: Personality, age and motivation Motivator: Ambition Age a significant predictor, after controlling for Self- Reliance, suggesting that age contributes unique variance, not attributed to just this trait Abstractedness was no longer a significant predictor, once age group was controlled for, suggesting that age group may explain the influence of Abstractedness on this motivator
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Discussion Intellectual challenge important for all age groups, which is consistent with previous research (Wong et al, 2008) year olds motivated by developing skills and abilities and ambition: consistent with SST theory
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Discussion Our research suggests that: Personality traits vary with age to some extent Age group predicts some motivational elements that are not just attributed to personality The influence of some personality traits (Apprehension and Abstractedness) may be accounted for by age, suggesting that age plays an important part in explaining the relationship between these personality traits and the motivational elements identified
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Implications: Practical Training & Development opportunities Observable age cohorts Focus on how to motivate an age-diverse workforce Need for more personalised interventions Definition and analysis of precise age groups Personality, Aging and Motivation
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Implications: Practical Need for more personalised interventions Opportunities for growth and skill development for younger employees Mentoring, work-life balance and fulfilment for older workers
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. References Aldwin, C. M., & Levenson, M. R. (1994). Aging and personality assessment. In M. P. Lawton & J. A. Teresi (Eds.), Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics: Focus on assessment (pp. 182–209). New York: Springer Publishing Company. Ebner, N. C., Freund, A. M., & Baltes, P. B. (2006) Developmental changes in personal goal orientation from young to late adulthood: From striving for gains to maintenance and prevention of losses. Psychology and Aging, 21(4), Inkeles, A., & Levinson, D. J. (1963). The personal system and the sociocultural system in large-scale organizations. Sociometry, 26, 217–229. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2013). “Gen Y” poised to transform office life as generational talent battle looms, PWC says. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from jhtml jhtml Roberts, B.W., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T.E. (2003). Work experiences and personality development in young adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(3),
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. References Russell, M. & Karol, D. (2002). 16PF Fifth Edition Administrator’s Manual. Champaign, IL: IPAT Inc. Soto, C.J., Gosling, S.D., John, O.P., & Potter, J. (2011). Age differences in personality traits from 10 to 65: Big Five domains and facets in a large cross- sectional sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100 (2), Wong, M., Gardiner, E., Lang, W., & Coulon, L. (2008). Generational differences in personality and motivation: Do they exist and what are the implications for the workplace? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(8), pp.878 – 890. Zaniboni, S., Truxillo, D.M., & Fraccaroli, F. (2013). Differential effects of task variety and skill variety on burnout and turnover intentions for older and younger workers. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(3),
© Copyright 2013 OPP Ltd. All rights reserved. Thank you! Any questions?
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