The Happiness Paradox

by Accuro

Happiness: the quality or state of being happy; good fortune, contentment, joy.  A recent Forbes article explores how age tends to govern what makes individuals happy.  Happiness is an important thing to evoke within the workplace -- knowing what makes individuals tick will help you retain high-preforming employees. 

Millennials like me thrive in fast-paced, varying, and rousing atmosphere.  We are the tech savvy generation that finds happiness in progression and innovation.  Generation X’ers tends to find happiness within relaxation and serenity.  The simple things are favored by Generation X - down time, time with family, enjoying what you have.  Millennials value career advancements, buying material items like your first car or home, and getting a raise.  It is not to say that Gen Y does not appreciate down time or family time, but more so that the excitement of getting ahead keeps us blossoming within the workplace.  So what does this all mean?  Knowing how to keep different generations motivated is the key to retaining them.  Millennials want to know there is room for growth and the opportunity to learn more, while Generation X is more concerned with job stability and overall performance. 

Is the glorification of technology by my generation putting them out of work?  Can the unemployment rate be explained by the escalating production of tech gismos?  A recent HBR article explores this idea: “We all love the shiny new products that make our lives easier – and the new methods of doing business that help us earn more – but those same technological and business innovations come at the expense of jobs.”  Automated phone systems have eliminated countless administrative positions; the Internet has eradicated the need for libraries.  If technologies like iPhones are making ample capital growth for companies, they will continue to race to invent the next best product and jobs will still be displaced.  Innovation fuels job creation, yes, but at the same time people drive innovation.  It will take effort by employers to engage and retain their employees, of all generations,  in order to stay on top of the changing markets.  Gen Y pushes for the progression that generates bliss while Gen X drives the consummation of ease, but when combined, we can all work together to ensure that technology does not leave us behind.  Teamwork is imperative for the happiness of all, whether personally or career related.   

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