Colombian millennials at the workplace

Publication Date02 December 2019
AuthorJuan Pablo Roman-Calderon,Diego René Gonzales-Miranda,Gustavo A. García,Oscar Gallo
SubjectHR & organizational behaviour,Global HRM
Colombian millennials at
the workplace
Juan Pablo Roman-Calderon and Diego René Gonzales-Miranda
Department of International Business, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia
Gustavo A. García
Department of Economics, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia, and
Oscar Gallo
Department of Organization and Management, Universidad EAFIT,
Medellin, Colombia
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a study on the antecedents of turnover intentions (TOI) of
millennial Colombian employees. A theoretical model in which positive work-family interaction, professional
respect (PR) and meaning predicted TOI is simultaneously tested in Millennials and Xers.
Design/methodology/approach The authors used a multigroup structural equation approach to analyze
the data provided by 2,157 Millennials and 279 Xers. Participants work in 11 companies from five Colombian
cities. City, age, sex, tenure and wage are included as control variables to respond to some limitations of
previous research and isolate the effects of age cohorts.
Findings The results show differences in terms of some of the variables under study. Further, the effects of
positive work-family interaction and PR on TOI were different from one age cohort to the other. The influence
of meaning on the outcome variable was equal in Millennials and Xers but resulted positive.
Research limitations/implications The authors studiedan under-researched population, used rigorous
analytical procedures to simultaneously test the hypotheses across generations, analyzed data from a large
samplesize and control for confoundingvariables identifiedby researchers inquiringgenerational differencesat
the workplace. Bythese means, the study contributes to literature on millennial employees and agediversity.
Originality/value By studying an under-reseach population and using suitable analytical techniques, the
study contributes to literature on millennial employees and age diversity.
Keywords Work life studies, Millennials, Colombia, Work engagement and commitment, Employee turnover,
Age diversity, Multigroup analysis, Professional respect
Paper type Research paper
For more than a decade, practitioners and scholars have been warning about
talent shortage and its negative consequences for companies (Frank et al., 2004;
ManpowerGroup, 2015). New generations are entering the labor market or reaching
higher positions, and experienced employees are leaving. In this context, employee
retention is the king(Frank et al., 2004, p. 12). Talent shortage becomes worrisome when
one continuously reads that millennial employees have greater intentions to leave the
organization than those of other generations. According to an international survey
conducted by Deloitte (2016), millennials in emerging markets have less loyalty to
organizations when compared to members of this generation from other countries. More
specific results of this survey suggest that 75 percent of Colombian millennials would
have intentions to abandon their organizations (Deloitte, 2016). Deloittes (2016) general
results shed light on turnover intentions (TOI) of Colombian employees of private
organizations holding a college or university degree. However, results of studies on
generational differences in workplace related variables are controversial. Several
scholars have noted that they are inconclusive (Teclaw et al., 2014; Hoole and Bonnema,
2015; De Meulenaere et al., 2016). To some extent, this is due to theoretical and
methodological issues. Given that most studies exclusively use age to define cohorts, little
Evidence-based HRM: a Global
Forum for Empirical Scholarship
Vol. 7 No. 3, 2019
pp. 249-261
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/EBHRM-04-2018-0029
Received 25 April 2018
Revised 30 July 2018
30 October 2018
Accepted 22 November 2018
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:

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