Publication Date

Fall 2015

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Barbara Burch (Director), Monica Burke, and Antony Norman

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Generation Y staff identified two workplace factors as significant to job satisfaction: promotion and contingent rewards. The Generation Y participants also identified eight workplace factors—pay, promotion, fringe benefits, supervision, contingent rewards, operating procedures, nature of work, and communication—as significant to employee retention. One demographic element, length of time in a current position, was found significant to Generation Y job satisfaction. Although the primary research focus was Generation Y university professional staff, one particular non-Generation Y finding proved relevant to employee retention: nature of work was ranked as the primary factor associated University professional staff make valuable contributions essential to the overall success of a college or university. These individuals provide leadership and professional knowledge to university units, departments, and programs. Yet, this population is the least studied university employee (Rosser, 2004). The goals of this study were to examine the extent and relationship of workplace factors associated with job satisfaction and the intent to remain in a position for Generation Y university professional staff. Furthermore, it considered the extent and relationship of selected Generation Y demographics associated with job satisfaction. A correlational quantitative methodology with a descriptive survey administered to a convenience sample was used to examine the relationship between study variables. Spector’s (1997) 1994 Job Satisfaction Survey and demographic questionnaire was administered to professional staff at 12 southeastern universities working in various positions (i.e., admissions, academic advising, residence life, judicial affairs, counseling and testing, career services, graduate studies, financial aid, TRIO programs, and student affairs). Ninety-seven staff responded, or 26%, 53 of whom were identified as Generation Y. The other participants were members of two distinct generations: Baby Boomers and Generation X.

with employee retention for all participants, suggesting that when university professional staff feel their work is meaningful, they are more likely to remain in a position. Thus, it is recommended that postsecondary leadership incorporate avenues that provide employees with meaningful and enjoyable work, roles, and responsibilities. By doing so, universities can be viewed as places of employment providing the necessary factors that attract, develop, and retain employees, in particular Generation Y university professional staff.


Benefits and Compensation | Educational Leadership | Human Resources Management