Each employee values and desires different benefits at work. Some people want more time off. Some people want a more flexible work schedule. Some people simply value just being treated with respect. In the situational approach, it describes that different situations call for different leadership behaviors (Northouse, 2016). Leaders should change their leadership behavior contingent on their environment, situation and followers (The Pennsylvania State University, 2020). This will allow them to connect with their followers in a way that is highly valued and effective not only for the followers but for a business.
“Effective leaders are those who can recognize what followers need and then adapt their own style to meet those needs” (Northouse, 2016). A lot of people feel super burnt out at their jobs and are not satisfied with their work. The younger generations like Generation X and Millennials want a flexible schedule to not feel as stressed and gives them work-life balance (Lesonsky, 2019). Some people may want to feel a sense of purpose at their job. Baby Boomers seem to want a sense of purpose at their job but they will usually work hard even if they do not feel a sense of purpose.
Salary is a big factor in what people want within a workplace. Salary is second on Baby Boomers list of wants right behind sense of purpose (Lesonsky, 2019). Salary is the number one thing Generation X and Millennial focus on and it acts as a big motivator at work. A sense of purpose is not far behind salary though. Another trend that seems to be very desirable now a days is having a flexible work schedule where employees can work from home. Millennials enjoy this idea of working from home where as Generation X and Baby Boomers may enjoy going into work.
The environment of a workplace also plays a big factor of how people feel at work. An open floor set and a lot of light coming into an office space is very desirable to workers of all generations. Taking breaks at work is very important since it refreshes the mind and creates more productivity. A lot of employees aren’t allowed to take regular breaks since they are over loaded with work. I believe this is a big problem because having a healthy mind helps with productivity at work. Wellness programs for the body and mind is something all generations desire to have at a workplace (Lesonsky, 2019).
No matter what the generation, having benefits that are appealing will draw employees to a business and keep them there once their hired. Medical insurance, flexible hour/work from home, vacation time or even tuition assistance are all benefits that may be highly desirable to people. As a leader, shifting behaviors for each employees desires will help keep employees happy and hardworking each day. Using a situational approach can help with the happiness of employees while also still focusing on the production of the business.
Lesonsky, R. (2019). What Different Generations Want From Work. Retrieved from https://www.score.org/blog/what-different-generations-want-work
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
The Pennsylvania State University. (2020). Leadership in work: PSYCH 485 [Online course lesson]. Retrieved at: https://psu.instructure.com/courses/2045005/modules/items/28166514