Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Margaret Moodian, Ed.D.
Keith Larick, Ed.D.
Sharon Floyd, Ed.D.
Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify the employee engagement practices that Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millennial human resources (HR) employees in four-year private institutions of higher education (IHEs) in southern California perceive as most important to their retention. The secondary purpose of the study was to determine the similarities and differences between the engagement practices considered most important for retention by Millennial HR employees compared to Baby Boomer and Generation X employees in IHEs.
Methodology: A quantitative descriptive, nonexperimental research design was selected for this study. The population included three generations of HR professionals working in four-year private IHEs in southern California. An online survey was used and consisted of 18 statements examining generational retention strategies developed by Dr. Sharon Floyd (2015).
Findings: The study delineated a significant relationship between the changeable demographics, multiple generations at the workplace, and a correlation to engagement and retention. Data analyzed determined no significant difference between engagement practices considered most important for retention by Millennial HR employees in four-year private IHEs in southern California compared to Baby Boomer and Generation X employees in IHEs.
Conclusions: Based on the findings of this study, employee engagement stems from having tools, clearly identified roles, resources, and compensation. Having a mentor at the workplace continues to provide better understanding of the ongoing need to monitor employee engagement attributes, which fluctuated greatly among generations. Establishing a strong, positive culture wherein employee development and career development are the norm, was promising for fostering employee engagement, regardless of employees’ age or generation.
Recommendations: It is recommended to replicate this study in five years as Generation Z enters the workplace and more Baby Boomers retire. Additionally, it is recommended to conduct this study with other populations outside of HR and in different industries such as entertainment and hospitality, and with telecommuting and remote workers.
Basic, Lamija, "Examining Generational Differences in The Workplace: Employee Engagement Practices and their Impact on Retention of Different Generations of Human Resources Employees in Higher Education" (2018). Dissertations. 207.