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In an organization, employees experience a number of challenges that relate to their level of motivation and performance. These challenges include poor working relationships between junior and senior staff, deprived working conditions, meager salaries and wages, as well as different needs of employees. These challenges result in poor performance as employees fail to meet the set targets and expectations of the organization.
Lawler (1999) argues that, when employees fail to meet organizational expectations, it implies that there is a significant reduction in productivity, which is likely to cripple its activities and processes.
To prevent impending crises, an organization have to spend most of its time resolving issues of employees in aspects such as time management, underperformance, cooperation, and strikes instead of using the invaluable time in enhancing organizational productivity of employees. Hence, the purpose of this essay is to examine the effect of generational conflicts and motivation levels among junior and senior sailors in the navy.
In the naval organization, managers are experiencing challenges in addressing generational differences among employees. The challenges emerge because managers have not understood diverse needs of young and old sailors. For instance, many young sailors like technology, teamwork, immediate feedbacks, and are competitive, whereas old workers like standard and routine methods of operations.
The major challenge facing the organization is the friction created by the different perspectives and points of view due to diversity of generational demographics (Lindner, 1998).
Since the organization is unable to address the requirements of the new generation effectively, it has continued with its conventional methods of operations and management; hence, demoralize the young workers and make them lose the zeal in their work. Additionally, many young workers are reluctant to participate in the organization’s operations because they perceive them as outdated.
The organization has not effectively recognized the generational differences that exist among sailors. Therefore, the organization has not mentored young sailors well as a way of incorporating them into the organization to inject fresh ideas and opinions. Incorporation of new ideas and opinions from young sailors would enhance the organization to promote the level of motivation, and thus, boost the productivity of young sailors.
In addition, old sailors are not prepared to adopt fresh ideas from young sailors because they believe that they do not have any relevant experience. The unwillingness of old sailors to listen to new and fresh ideas from young sailors has made young sailors feel inferior, as they believe that the old sailors undermine them.
Podmoroff (2005 recommends organizations to accommodate the needs of employees according to their demographics. Failure to accommodate the needs of a certain set of employees, such as the millennial generation constitutes discrimination and marginalization.
An organization must know that many young workers still need to further their studies and spend time with their families; hence, the organization should give them flexible working schedules.
Motivation of Employees
In the workplace, many employees are not performing optimally because they are not motivated. According to Muller (2011), motivation is an indispensable factor in management because it enhances the performance of employees. As naval organization employs ineffective management practices, it cannot achieve employee motivation.
Additionally, the organization has not employed effective management strategies that cover aspects such as fair treatment of employees, empowerment, appraisals, creation of flexible working environment, and recognition of employees who perform well.
The absence of these motivational strategies demoralize employees because they do not have a career plan that defines their job descriptions and job specifications as they progress in their job positions (Jami & Clerkin, 2013).
The organization also does not empower sailors to improve their commitment in workplace. Furthermore, the organization does not give employees the power, independence, trust, and encouragement for them to perform their duties well.
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The organization has not created room for the views and opinions of all the workers especially the young and new sailors. Consequently, the fact that then management does not give room for young sailors to present their opinions and suggestions make the organization to be insensitive to the requirements of young sailors, and thus do not create a feeling of self-worth and acceptance among young sailors.
Consequently, the young sailors experience a sense of marginalization. Furthermore, the organization has not created institutions that the management uses in communicating effectively with all sailors irrespective of their ages, ranks, or levels of experience. According to Ryan (2012), institutions are necessary because they create a formal way of communicating among employees in an effective manner.
The organization has applied comprehensive methods of communication and failed to understand that the young generation prefers individualized forms of communication, as opposed to the use of memos and notices. These practices of the organization create a feeling of disrespect among young sailors that demoralize them, and kill their drive to perform optimally.
Management of the Problem
To solve these challenges caused by the age difference and lack of motivation, the organization must engage a number of strategies geared towards creating fairness in the way the management treats and handles its workers. The organization should give all the workers a platform to present their views and ideas without using the age, job position, or level of experience in gauging their contributions (Crouse, 2005).
Out of this process, the management will get to understand the requirements of all the workers and know-how to manage young and old sailors in line with their needs. Furthermore, the management must create communication systems that are efficient to facilitate passage of information from one point to another in a fast and efficient manner (Partridge, 1995).
Effective communication enables young and old sailors to present their views easily and quickly. In addition, the management should address suggestions of both old and young sailors in a fair manner without undue discrimination and provide feedback in time.
It is fundamental for the naval organization to understand that sailors needs and expectations differ across sailors. This is due to the difference in age, reasoning capacities, and personalities. Martins (2001) asserts that major conflicts that relate to motivation touch on matters such as working environment, working hours, salaries and wages, and the level of respect and acceptance from the organization.
Therefore, to motivate sailors effectively and get the best out of them, the management must ensure that workers have a good working environment, flexible working hours, good salaries, and wages. Moreover, the organization should treat sailors with equity, respect, and fairness.
The organization should also be ready to listen and employ new ideas from young and old sailors. Reyes (2011) contends that when an organization listens and employs suggestions of employees, it creates a feeling of respect, self-worth, and acceptance, which motivates employees to optimize their performance.
Likewise, the organization needs to listen to sailors and apply their ideas and opinion as a way of encouraging them to work hard and even source ideas from other areas, thus enhancing their productivity.
The organization must also engage their sailors in regular training programs so that they can create a level of equity among young and old sailors. Good working relationships and respect of every sailor regardless of age and experience is a factor that the organization must observe at all times so that it can increase motivation and performance of sailors.
The difference in views and opinions of workers occurs in many organizations. In addition, lack of motivation among employees is common in a number of organizations. In the naval organization, old and senior employees look down upon the young sailors, which make them feel inferior and marginalized, and consequently cause generational conflicts.
However, management of the naval organization must institute policies and measures that minimize or prevent generational conflicts and increase motivation of employees as well as the drive to work. The naval organization should also enhance teamwork and good relationships amongst its employees. It must encourage all workers to adopt and apply values such as love, respect, responsibility, commitment, and fairness.
Regular training of workers will equip them with relevant skills that are essential in using modern technologies that are in line with the requirements of the young generation, and thus increase the level of motivation in the young generation and improve their productivity.
The management of the naval organization can also include workers’ representatives during formulation and implementation of policies regarding work schedules and timetables. The inclusion creates a sense of belonging among workers; hence, promote their morale to work optimally for the organization.
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