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Introduction

Background
The word productive means different things for different people. In an article entitled,
“Work Ethic: Do New Employees Mean New Work Values,” it states, “It is more important to
workforce professionals to not waste time and be more effective and efficient in the use of
their time than college students (Raymond 27).” This shows that college students have a
skewed view about time management and how important it is in the work force. However, in
another article entitled, “Making Time to Be Productive,” it talks about how some people think
being productive has to include working long hours with no breaks and getting hardly any rest.
This, however, is not a good example of being productive. Being productive means using
adequate reserves and resources in order to get the job done. Some ways to accomplish this
are to take 5 to 10 minute breaks every 90 minutes. This includes walking away from your task
at hand or taking a breather. Getting a snack low in sugar like fruits, yogurt, nuts, or cheese can
help sustain the body longer and rejuvenate a worker (Torres). Being productive is a big part of
the job when used properly and in the right mindset.

Some businesses are also offering fitness centers at their offices. This gives employees
an opportunity to exercise and rejuvenate for tasks at hand. According to the article, “Making
Time to Be Productive,” it interviews a lady talking about how nice it is to be able to have a
fitness center at her work so she can spend some time getting fit and can even have the option
to a personal trainer. She talks about how this program has helped her to learn how to better
balance her life when it comes to physical activity and everyday life. Organization of time,
duties, and emotions are critical when it come to balance in a productive workers life (Torres).
This is a great way to keep employees on and focused when it comes to difficult or time-
consuming tasks in the work force.

One other way to be a more productive worker in the work force is to keep a work log of
all the tasks you do whether small or large. According to the article, “Making Time to be
Productive,” it talks about how doing a log can show an employee what tasks are time-
consuming or should be eliminated. Breaking down tasks into small steps and monitoring day-
by-day accomplishments on that task can also make a productive worker. It is important to set
aside time for focusing on one task at a time until the larger task has been accomplished.
Splitting up time is an important task (Torres). Breaking up tasks definitely helps employees to
accomplish more over a shorter amount of time leading to more being accomplished in less
time. All in all, to be a productive worker means knowing the difference between work time
and pleasure time. Being able to keep work at work and not bring it home.

Presently, more and more older generations are under the impression that the current
generation is the laziest generation ever. According to an article entitled, “A Generation of
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Slackers? Not So Much, it states, “The Facebook Generation or whatever you want to call
today’s cohort of young people- has been accused of being the laziest generation ever. They
feel entitled and are coddled, disrespectful, narcissistic and impatient” (Rampell). This
statement shows what stereotypical attributes that the younger generations are being
described as. According to “A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much, it says, “three in four
Americans believe that today’s youth are less virtuous and industrious than their elders”
(Rampell). This statement bears a strong resemblance to the first statement given on that
more and more older generations are seeing younger generations as self-centered and less
hard working. However, the following table from the article “Do New Employees Mean New
Work Values” clearly shows that college students scored higher than the workforce
professional.

Source: Do New Employees Mean New Work Values. (2015 March). Journal of Managerial
Issues, p. 10-34.

Table 3 shows the difference in different categories in the work force and the difference in
work ethic between college students and workforce professionals. It is interesting to note that
college students rated higher in self-reliance, leisure ethics, and the hard working categories
over the workforce professionals.

An important aspect for an employee to figure out early on is how to be successful in


their job. First impressions are very important and they need to be taken seriously. According
to an article by Anne C. Lewis entitled, “From School to Rewarding Work,” Lewis talks about
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how employees need to have “strong basic skills and good behavioral skills” (Lewis ). This
means having employees that show up on time and are able to work in teams when needed to.
These are important to any employee becoming productive and being able to focus in on tasks
at hand.

Problem
As students get into college and begin getting jobs, it seems that more and more of
them are struggling to know how to be productive workers in the work force. This ends up
hurting them more when they graduate and they then have a hard time not only getting a job
but also maintaining that job. It seems more and more young adults are jumping from job to
job and cannot seem to find a stable job that works for them. In an article entitled, “Work
Ethic: Do New Employees Mean New Work Values,” the authors’ talk about how hard work
perceptions are different between older and younger employees. They also discuss how hard
work and pride in craftsmanship are not as important to younger workers as compared to older
workers (Raymond). This statement shows that the gap between old and young people on
what counts for hard work is continuing to grow further and further apart. Younger employees
in the work force are expecting things to just be handed to them instead of working hard for
those things, as the older generations have had to do.

Purpose
The purpose of this report is to explain how skewed the term productive workers is
when it comes to certain generations. It seems more and more younger employees need to be
taught how to be productive workers and also have the example set for them by older
professional workers in the work force.

Scope
This report discusses how to turn young employees into more productive workers, why
it is important for these employees to learn to be productive in the work force, how being a
productive worker helps the employer want to retain that worker, and if the present generation
of employees is really as lazy and unproductive as the older generation thinks they are. I have
also discussed how employers can make a big impact on how productive a worker is and the
importance of being respectful and kind to your employees. It also discusses the different
views on productivity and what productivity really should mean in the work force instead of
what different generations think it is.

Discussion
One of the ways we can turn employees into more productive workers is by
empowerment. In an article entitled, “Study Shows Empowered Workers are Better, More
Productive Workers,” it talks about how workers who feel empowered by their employers have
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a higher morale and productive rate regardless of the job, field, or culture they are in. It goes
on to talk about how empowerment can lead to higher job satisfaction, reduced stress among
employees, and lower turnover. They are also more innovative and tend to do better at their
jobs (Study 1). Empowerment is just one of the many aspects that can help turn the younger
generation into better employees. According to this article, some ways to empower employees
are to involve workers in decision-making, share information with them, and decentralize
authority. Helping employees feel valued and recognizing each employees importance is
another positive empowerment tool. Employers can also provide strong feedback and be a
good role model. This helps employees to find meaning in work and feel reaffirm competence.
Lastly, providing employees with challenging work assignments and encourage training is
another way to help employees feel empowered (Study 1). These are very beneficial ways to
help employees to feel accepted and wanted in their job. In Joe Keohane’s article entitled, “In
Praise of Meaningless Work,” he talks about how companies that have employees that are
more engaged in their work make 147 percent higher earnings per share and tend to be less
motivated by the worldly enticements such as flextime, good hours, pay and vacations (57). A
lot of how employees perform is based off their employer and how respectful and positive they
are to their employees.

Conclusion
The best way to get productive workers is to implement the following recommendations
into the work force. These recommendations help employees to feel accepted and respected in
the force. For employers, this helps them to have successful workers who respect them and are
able to then have a successful business that runs properly and effectively. Productive workers
make productive businesses.

Recommendations
By implementing these recommendations, we can create more productive workers for
the future and help college students to be more productive workers by showing them respect
as employers and being positive.
1. Take 5 to 10 minute breaks every 90 minutes. This includes walking away from the task
at hand or taking a breather. Getting a snack low in sugar like fruits, yogurt, nuts, or
cheese can help sustain the body longer and rejuvenate a worker (Torres).
2. Employers can empower employees by involving them in decision-making, share
information with them, and decentralize authority. Employers can also provide strong
feedback and be a good role model. Lastly, providing employees with challenging work
assignments and encourage training is another way to help employees feel empowered
(Study 1).
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3. Employees need to have “strong basic skills and good behavioral skills” (Lewis ). This
means having employees that show up on time and are able to work in teams when
needed to.
4. Have employees keep a work log of all the tasks they do whether small or large.
According to the article, “Make Time to be Productive,” it talks about how doing a log
can show an employee what tasks are time-consuming or should be eliminated.
5. Breaking down tasks into small steps and monitoring day-by-day accomplishments. It is
important to set aside time for focusing on one task at a time until the larger task has
been accomplished. Splitting up time is an important task (Torres). Breaking up tasks
helps employees to accomplish more over a shorter amount of time leading to more
being accomplished in less time. Knowing the difference between work time and
pleasure time. Being able to keep work at work and not bring it home.
6. Offering fitness centers in the work force. This gives employees an opportunity to
exercise and rejuvenate for tasks at hand. According to the article, “Making Time to Be
Productive,” it interviews a lady talking about how nice it is to be able to have a fitness
center at her work so she can spend some time getting fit and can even have the option
to a personal trainer. She talks about how this program has helped her to learn how to
better balance her life when it comes to physical activity and everyday life. Organization
of time, duties, and emotions are critical when it come to balance in a productive
workers life (Torres).
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References
Keohane, J. (2015). In praise of meaningless work. New Republic, 246(2/3), 57-59.

Lewis, Anne C. (2004, January). From school to rewarding work. The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 85, No. 5,
339-340. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20441577

Rampell, Catherine. (2011, May 28). A generation of slackers? Not so much. The New York Times.
Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/weekinreview/29graduates.html?_r=1

Raymond K. Van Ness, Kimberly Melinsky, Cheryl L. Buff and Charles F. Seifert. (2010 Spring). Work
ethic: Do new employees mean new work values?. Journal of Managerial Issues, Vol. 22, No. 1,
10-34. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25822513

Study shows empowered workers are better, more productive workers. (2011, Apr 18). Targeted News
Service. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/862407885?accountid=27045

Torres, B. (2005, May 04). Making time to be productive ; job performance depends more on an
organized life, rest and good working conditions than on nonstop toil, experts say. The Sun
Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/406655600?accountid=27045