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Title: "That'll do" to "yes, please" : the importance of generational membership for reward strategy
Author: Alden, Elaine Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 7247
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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This research was concerned with understanding how generational membership could be an indicator of reward preference. This idea was researched within an organisational environment where the attraction, retention and motivation through reward strategy was of continuing importance due to declining populations and generations, skills shortages and a general need to ensure a productive and contented workforce in a challenging marketplace. Also within this discussion is the need for organisations to enact reward strategies that positively support these issues through the psychological contract between employer and employee (total relationship rewards theories) and the need for rewards solutions that are less focused on what is widespread in the industry, and more so on what works most effectively for the organisation in its business and employee demographic context, based on knowledge provided through the employee voice (theories of best fit). Through the use of a variety of methods and most predominantly a quantitative web-based survey of 200 working-age adults, these ideas of reward preference and the questions around the workplace rewards and experiences that are most valued were analysed within the context of generation, gender and life stage. Initially, the focus of the research was to find a generational connection to reward preference as an opportunity to divide the workforce and provide rewards that specifically appealed to them. This has the potential to be used in a practical application of policy within organisations. Where this initial focus was perhaps on difference the results of the field research suggest a story of similarities. Where there were some differences between the generations with regard to preference there appears to be a strong life-stage influence that could be enhancing this effect and is most obvious when participants had care commitments. What was more telling was how focused employees were on what rewards were valued and this underlines the need for a simplistic approach when implementing policy through organisational reward strategy. Also worthy of note was the high value placed by all ages upon rewards that were intangible and were in the realm of the more relational aspects of the employer-to-employee exchange as opposed to the more materially-based transactional aspects of reward. While the results do not necessarily refute the use of all-encompassing reward schemes, there is support found in ensuring the rewards most important to employees are offered, implemented and managed effectively and that perhaps more focus is placed upon the intangible and more cost-efficient aspects of reward that are often not the popular strategic focus.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available