Research has shown that for the first time in history the workforce consists of four different generations: Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. The Silent Generation is defined, by previous research, as those individuals born between 1925 and 1945, Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964, Generation X were born between 1965 and 1980, and Generation Y those born after 1980. The purpose of this action research study was to improve the engagement and retention of Generation Y employees through an increased understanding of their communication preferences. The study intended to show that more frequent feedback and effective communication would improve the performance and retention of Generation Y employees. The study utilized the generational cohort theory which suggests that the events each cohort experiences during their formative years result in a unique set of values, beliefs, expectations, and behaviors. The study utilized a quantitative design and an online survey to gather information from employees who are part of the Generation Y cohort regarding their preferred channel or channels of communication, frequency of communication, and whether a change in communication will affect whether or not they leave their current employment. The results of the study demonstrated that the Generation Y cohort prefers to receive feedback on at least a quarterly basis and sooner if the feedback is personal.
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