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Salau, O.P.;  Osibanjo, A.O.;  Igbinoba, E.E.;  Joel, O.O.;  Atolagbe, T.M.;  Adegbuyi, A.A.;  Dada, A.E.;  Adeniji, C.G. Sustaining Work-Fulfillment through Multigenerational Diversity and Emotional Communication. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 23 April 2024).
Salau OP,  Osibanjo AO,  Igbinoba EE,  Joel OO,  Atolagbe TM,  Adegbuyi AA, et al. Sustaining Work-Fulfillment through Multigenerational Diversity and Emotional Communication. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 23, 2024.
Salau, Odunayo Paul, Adewale Omotayo Osibanjo, Ebeguki Edith Igbinoba, Opeyemi Olunike Joel, Tolulope Morenike Atolagbe, Abimbola Abidemi Adegbuyi, Augustina Esitse Dada, Chinyerem Grace Adeniji. "Sustaining Work-Fulfillment through Multigenerational Diversity and Emotional Communication" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 23, 2024).
Salau, O.P.,  Osibanjo, A.O.,  Igbinoba, E.E.,  Joel, O.O.,  Atolagbe, T.M.,  Adegbuyi, A.A.,  Dada, A.E., & Adeniji, C.G. (2022, July 01). Sustaining Work-Fulfillment through Multigenerational Diversity and Emotional Communication. In Encyclopedia.
Salau, Odunayo Paul, et al. "Sustaining Work-Fulfillment through Multigenerational Diversity and Emotional Communication." Encyclopedia. Web. 01 July, 2022.
Sustaining Work-Fulfillment through Multigenerational Diversity and Emotional Communication

Emotional communication is gradually gaining the attention of various industries in Nigeria, particularly on the issues and concerns of sustaining employees’ fulfilment. Multigenerational diversity is considered a contributing factor for the retention of employees at work, but the mechanism behind this relationship remains unclear. As the workforce continues to shift and change, the directors, managers, and supervisors of the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria should be prepared to manage a multigenerational team with varying needs, values, and priorities. In addition, the ability of the Ministry to emphasise the effect of emotional communication in a conducive learning environment will go a long way in improving and enhancing sustainable employee work fulfilment.

emotional communication fulfilment multigenerational diversity emotions

1. Introduction

The shifting global market competition has produced new problems for both enterprises and individuals in the globalisation period. To maintain or generate competitiveness, businesses must develop and retain qualified and talented human resources and assure their job happiness to maximise their contribution. According to [1][2] employees are happier at work when they work for a firm that recognises them when they complete tasks and meet deadlines. It was argued that organisations should change their employee reward system, and promotions should be given based on merit, educational qualifications, and experience; hence, if these factors are given more attention, the company will be able to keep good workers with high levels of effectiveness and efficiency in their work, which will lead to increased productivity [3][4].
Extant studies have indicated that workplace happiness leads to workplace fulfilment. It is critical to understand how workers may be held accountable to meet their job-related demands, which will motivate them to provide exceptional results [3][5]. Job fulfilment at work increases their job efficiency and the character of employees. The concepts of fulfilment and contentment are interchangeable [6]. When many job satisfaction variables are combined, the employee’s ultimate job fulfilment is ensured [3][7]. Under these circumstances, organisations must develop various efficient reward strategies to fulfil and sustain the expectations of the core employees.
Employees who are happy and satisfied with their employer’s caring actions of equality, impartiality, and empathic attitude are more likely to be committed and concerned about their company [8]. Employees who believe their bosses are uncaring towards them, on the other hand, are likely to be unsatisfied, demotivated, de-stimulated, and unfulfilled [9]. It is argued that effective employee fulfilment management cannot be reached only through developing an optimal portfolio of human resource (HR) practices; instead, the employers should be able to manage the expectations of employees, which ultimately lead to a deal that is understood by both parties [3][6]. Modern-day organisations display keenness in employee fulfilment and encourage diverse employees to stay with the organisation for a longer time. Prior studies also indicated that ignoring the needs of any one group of employees will likely result in lower productivity and job fulfilment [3][6][9], especially in the civil service.
The vehicle for delivering and governing civil services is dependent on the ability to provide guidelines on appointments, promotions, and discipline for civil servants. The quality of civil service primarily determines the speed with which a country develops. This is due to the critical role that government and employees play in creating and executing policies. Public officials who are supposed to be the engine of social progress through the bureaucracy must, as a matter of principle, set a positive example for other citizens by operating ethically. As a result, the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution of 1999 (as amended) has established a model for the type of probity demanded of public servants. Despite the code of conduct’s great power, many public officials are unaware of its requirements. Even those who are aware of it have a hard time putting its provisions into action. Despite the broad powers granted by the Constitution, the code of conduct tribunal has seen few cases and has performed poorly.
Many studies [10][11] have looked at how a wide range of generations in the workforce affect job fulfilment and satisfaction. Employees from different generations, such as the baby boomer generation, Generation X, the millennial generation, and Generation Z, make up a multigenerational workforce. Organisations may work with teams of individuals from four to six distinct generations at the same time in the future, which is why knowing how to manage a multigenerational workforce now is critical [11][12]. In either case, a 60-year-old employee is bound to have different objectives, worries, values, beliefs, and attributes than a 25-year-old co-worker. Understanding these distinctions can aid public sector leaders and managers lead and manage a multigenerational workforce. As younger generations reach adulthood, older people choose to work longer hours.
Employers have specific challenges with multigenerational workforces, but they are arguably more productive and have lower turnover than those without generational diversity [12]. According to data gathered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), millennials make up roughly half of the workforce. Meanwhile, the number of persons above the age of 65 is higher than ever and Ref. [12] predicted it to double in the next 20 to 30 years. Challenges might occur due to variations in communication styles, general work practices, teamwork, and employer expectations.
These disparities demonstrate how difficult it is to create an atmosphere where all generations can work together in harmony. In fact, according to AARP research, 60% of workers say there is generational conflict in their job. According to Celik [6], emotional communication may be utilised to build a culture of fruitful cooperation and mutual respect. Suleman and Nelson [11] argued that emotional communication could be used in the public sector to improve multigenerational workforce productivity, engagement, and retention.
Emotional communication is gradually gaining the attention of various sectors in Nigeria, particularly on the issues and concerns of sustaining employees’ fulfilment. Emotional communication is a term used to describe a lack of emotional awareness or control that causes communication difficulties [1][7]. According to prior studies, people can interact more effectively with others in their daily lives if they have a better grasp of their feelings. Managers will undoubtedly need to understand more about how their emotions function and how to control a diverse range of generations to overcome emotional obstacles to communication in the workplace. A prior study suggested that promoting emotional communication at the workstation leads to the retention of employees in the organisation [1][7][13].
Previous studies have explored that emotional communication can be achieved by a harmonious working culture provided by the organisation to their diverse employees [3][14]. This suggests that emotional communication and multigenerational diversity may be considered as contributing factors for the retention of employees at work, but the mechanism behind this relationship remains unclear. Thus, researchers investigate the influence of multigenerational diversity and emotional communication on sustainable employee fulfilment in The Federal Civil Service Commission of Nigeria.

2. Multigenerational Diversity

A multigenerational workforce is a diverse labour pool made up of multiple generations. Multigenerational diversity is based on assumed similarities between people born in the same clusters of birth years. These generations are the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y [11][15][16].
Veterans or Traditionalists—born before 1943: World War and the Great Depression gave birth to a generation of people who possess an attitude of “can do”. As stated by [3][17], the traditionalist core values include conformity, dedication, adherence to rules, hard work, law and order, honour, sacrifice, patience, respect for authority, and duty before pleasure. Respect for authority, strong emphasis on teamwork, interaction at the face-to-face level, and discipline are some of the characteristics of traditionalist. With good communication skills, fairness, and impartiality, the strength of their belief lies in the power of mediation and dialogue. Performing a task well gives them satisfaction and they have both work and life experiences that are indispensable to the organisation. Attitude stemming from team orientation and cooperation are also in their possession.
The Baby Boomers—born 1943–1960: Given birth to during and after World War II. This set includes people who are inclusive, highly productive, task-oriented, and collaborative, whose upbringing was during a time of propensity, optimism of extreme degree, and opportunities [18]. Rather than leadership sharing, they believe in participative leadership, though they do not easily delegate. They also place value on listening, encouraging, and experience. They uphold the status quo (Abrams and Von Frank, 2014).
Generation X—born 1960–1980: The compositions of people in this generation are wise, straightforward, fair, practical, and strategic leaders who offer effective leadership in crisis and who do not like to lead by vision statement crafting or doing and organising meetings [3][16]. Elimination of obstacles, feedback offering and credit sharing, leaving individuals to do their work on their own and giving them tasks that challenge their reasoning and thinking into effective decision making in the group are ways in which they lead groups.
Generation Y or Millennials: This is the newest generation. They are technological and social media savvy and, can have and make friends worldwide who they can contact at any time of the day [15]. Working for more than their paycheck is one characteristic of this generation. They want jobs and organisations interested in achieving their own goals by courting other jobs and organisations. Generation Y easily quit jobs they do not like or are not of preference in search of other jobs and opportunities, unlike other generations (e.g., Baby Boomers and Generation X) who wait patiently for more opportunities and promotions [17][18].

2.1. Emotional Communication

Emotional communication is a frequently misinterpreted notion and rarely explored or taught, if ever. In communication, feelings have a significant influence. Employees from a wide range of sectors and vocations share their rich emotional experiences in communicating emotion at work [1][13]. It has a very upbeat tone, acknowledging that emotional communication is a necessary and innovative reaction to the problems of working in a complicated organisation. The practice of employing messages to communicate information about and affect each other’s emotional states is referred to as emotional communication [19].
Emotional communication is a crucial component in navigating the issue of developing solid connections and trust. Strong relationships require emotional dialogue, which may both heal and build ties. Vulnerability, emotional intelligence, and maybe a dash of imagination is all required. Vulnerability is required for emotional communication, while trust is required for vulnerability. Trust is built over time but is unfortunately broken instantly by either employer, employees, or the government. Negative emotions are linked to low job satisfaction, high turnover intentions [13][20], poor job performance, customer satisfaction issues [15][21], and high national economic expenses [22]. The supervisor co-worker connection, rather than the task itself, was revealed to be the most prevalent source of solid sentiments among the critical causes of problematic workplace emotions [7].

2.2. Employees’ Fulfilment

Traditional managers who have depended on reductionist strategies for regulating, measuring, and improving staff production may be unfamiliar with terms such as “fulfilment.” According to the performance-focused manager, employees must be controlled (bullied, cajoled, pressured, micromanaged, and monitored) to produce their optimal performance [12][23]. Managers who prioritise customer satisfaction are a distinct breed. Employees aligned with their talents, interests, and beliefs produce their best work without having to be probed, prodded, and measured all the time [2][6]. Fulfilment-oriented managers recognise that if the organisation helps people achieve their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual requirements, the individual will naturally progress to greater performance levels. In other words, fulfilment-oriented managers do not strive to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of their employees [24]. Instead, they concentrate on assisting everyone in discovering what brings them joy at work and battling the more significant issues that obstruct people’s capacity to accomplish their best job. If individuals are not just weary at the end of the day, but “good tired,” fulfilment-focused managers know they have performed their job. When a “good weary” employee returns home, they experience the same sensation they have after a successful workout: pleasure in having faced the challenge to perform their best and contentment in having accomplished something worthwhile [3][25].

3. Empirical Review

Uresha and Kottawatta [17] examined the organisational commitment of Generation X and of employees in the Apparel Industry in Western Province, Sri Lanka. They found a high level of organisational commitment of the overall sample of employee in the apparel industry. Naková, Babelová, and Chlpeková [18] and Edward and Purba [22] consider it necessary to evaluate the importance of age management pillars on sustainable human resource management and multigenerational diversity. The findings revealed that the use of multiple generations of employees is effective within the context of long-term human resource management. Osibanjo, Adeniji, Falola, Salau, Ogueyungbo, and Efe-Imafidon [26] also evaluated diversity management and organisational performance in banks in Nigeria. The study concludes that the factors affecting employee commitment, sales growth, service quality, and employee desire to leave, all the variables investigated under the independent variable, exhibit positive path coefficients. Banks in Nigeria should use diversity inclusion management to enhance their organisational performance.
Hong, Jonna, and Kaisa [27] and Cui [20] investigated the importance of emotional communication in fostering workplace transparency and openness. The finding revealed that communication skills assist employees to work effectively and in everyday circumstances. Edward and Purba [22] examined the impact of emotional communication and work environment on employee performance with organisational commitment as a mediating variable. The result shows that emotional communication, work environment and organisational commitment affect employees’ performance. Geltner [13] and Sanchez-Gomez and Breso [21] examined the relevance of emotional communication and burnout in the quest of work performance. The findings highlight the relevance of emotional communication as a protective feature in preventing the emergence or chronic progression of workers’ burnout. Celik [6] and Opeke, Ikonne, and Adewoyin [24] investigated work fulfilment among library personnel in public universities in Southwest Nigeria. The findings revealed that the level of job satisfaction of the respondents was high. Contributing to this was satisfaction with job security, relationship with co-workers, and recognition. The results also revealed that although the level of job satisfaction of the respondents was high, they were not satisfied with their salary. Vui-Yee and Paggy [12] examined the effect of work fulfilment on job characteristics and employee retention among Generation Y employees. The findings indicated that with gender and educational level as control factors, the results supported the hypothesised mediation effect of work fulfilment. The findings also showed that there are no disparities in age among Generation Y. Celik [6] and Sharma [23] assessed the effect of work fulfilment on employee loyalty. The findings revealed the impact of training and development, workplace environment, leadership, and job satisfaction on employees. They also show the relationship between job satisfaction and employees. Job satisfaction has a direct impact on employee loyalty since it encourages employees to stay loyal to the company.

4. Development for Multigenerational Diversity, Emotional Communication, and Sustained Employees’ Fulfilment

4.1. Multigenerational Diversity and Sustained Employees’ Fulfilment

Recent studies point to the presence of four generations currently dominating the workforce. These generations are Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Although, some researchers believe the employees work fulfilment phenomenon can be found in different generations and organisations [11][16], studies such as [10][12][15] indicate that the employee work fulfilment phenomenon seems to be shared among workers in different sectors. Due to the increase in the number of sectors and industries around the world, it is common to see workers move from one organisation to another in pursuit of better terms and conditions of work. Twenge [10] affirmed this, arguing that many organisations are now experiencing an influx of generational diversity with different values and orientations that tend to affect workers’ engagement with and loyalty to the organisation. Suleman and Nelson [11] concluded that teams with age diversity can offer a variety of ways to address problems, and this may play a vital role in influencing employees’ level of work fulfilment. However, there is a lack of consistent views on whether employees’ level of work fulfilment differs from one generation to another.

4.2. Emotional Communication and Sustained Employees’ Fulfilment

Managers at all levels need to develop a tool kit of emotional communication techniques that allows them to do a few things more effectively. Managers in the public sector could learn one approach and stick to it if all employees had the same experience, upbringing, current emotional state, and literacy levels [1][25]. The fact is that not only do employees react differently to what managers say, but their individual reactions might also change in times of stress. Researchers such as [1][7][13][27] conducted research on the influence of emotional communication on employee productivity. The results of the research show that emotional communication has a positive and significant effect on employee productivity. This means that the higher the value of the emotional communication variable, the higher the employees’ productivity. Meanwhile, a different study was conducted by [13][27]. The results of the study indicate that emotional communication has a negative and significant effect on employee performance. This means that if emotional communication decreases, it will be followed by a decrease in employee performance. Prior studies showed a strong relationship between emotional communication and employees’ engagement. This suggests that the higher the level of emotional communication, the greater their sense of work engagement. Celik [6] and Hong et al. [27] also pointed out that emotional communication is a factor that affects employee fulfilment. According to [13], emotional communication is the most important strategic tool, including self-control, enthusiasm, perseverance, and the ability to motivate oneself. The studies also demonstrate that managers and leaders are the primary actors who may influence levels of employee fulfilment.

4.3. Mediating Effect of Emotional Communication on Multigenerational Diversity and Sustained Employees’ Fulfilment

Different researchers have studied the effects of generational diversity on the workplace. Each generational cohort is motivated by a variety of factors ranging from opportunities for promotion, job security, respect, financial security, recognition, ethical management, and new challenges. Despite the significance of multigenerational diversity in the workplace, its impact on emotional communication and employees’ work fulfilment is yet to be unravelled. Studies [3][11][13] have also shown that when employees from varying generations can work together, they become more fulfilled in their work. This suggests that multigenerational diversity can improve productivity as well as work fulfilment. Another way to help foster cross-collaboration is to implement mutual emotional communication initiatives. This can be achieved by pairing workers to understand their emotions and learn from one another in the areas of technology, communication, social media, and networking. In this light, Salau [8][9] argues that organisations that are successful today are those that create open feedback loops for every employee in the organisation to participate in resolving conflicts and collaborate in problem solving and creating solutions. This implies that leaders need to not only have a willingness to accept a difference of opinion, but they should play a huge role in interpersonal communication, creativity, and problem-solving skills and can also influence the work performance generally. Inegbenojie [7] concludes that an effective multigenerational workplace offers unprecedented opportunities to achieve an overall balance of skills and abilities for the organisation’s greater good.


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