The emergence of a new type of virus that is being experienced this year (called COVID-19) has shocked the world, and the corona virus is raging around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2020) declared this a global pandemic, with the highest number of confirmed cases and a higher mortality rate. With the eruption of COVID-19 (WHO), people will face major challenges around the world, which can drastically affect our lifestyle (Hoq, 2020). The current global health crisis not only has an unmatched impact on human health and the global economy alone, but also poses unprecedented challenges to the work of many (Restubog et al., 2020). the situation with the presence of COVID-19 leaves new lessons for all spectrums of life and in all sectors, including the education sector. The International Labor Organization (2020) has also estimated that global working hours will decrease significantly in the second quarter of 2020, namely 10.5% or the equivalent of 305 million workers, most of whom are millennial generation.
Millennial generation refers to someone born between 1980 and 2000, who is commonly known as iGen and techsavvy because someone who is a millennial was born and raised with smart technology (Jha et al., 2019). The millennial generation has begun to dominate the teaching team in Indonesia. KEMRISTEKDIKTI stated that more than 30% of lecturers in 2018 came from the millennial generation (KEMRISTEKDIKTI, 2018). Millennial lecturers are known to face various demands and challenges in the world of work (Sianturi et al., 2019). The first requirement that millennial lecturers must meet is adjusting to the needs of senior lecturers who have different characteristics from the previous generation, and the second requirement that millennial lecturers face is adapting to the needs of various jobs as lecturers (Sianturi et al., 2019).
Starting from designing the syllabus, providing teaching to preparing and evaluating student work, which makes the scope of the lecturers’ responsibilities in teaching vary widely. In addition, in addition to teaching in the responsibility of the Tridharma of Higher Education, lecturers also carry out tasks in conducting research and community service. The scope of research assignments is also very broad, starting from writing research proposals, conducting research to writing final research reports and publishing research results. Thus, it will affect the problem of engagement and job satisfaction among millennial lecturers. Lecturers also still have additional duties, such as holding structural positions and being the activity committee for faculties and universities (Angeline, 2011). Meanwhile, lecturers’ salaries in Indonesia are known to be low and their career paths are quite long. These things can make young Millennial Generation lecturers decide to quit their profession and leave the college (Sianturi et al., 2019). So that engagement with Millennial Generation lecturers will be increasingly important to do. Avoiding rapid employee turnover. Dale Carnegie Indonesia (DCI), (2016) said that only 25% of millennial workers have a good engagement with the company they work for. This will be different from the statement from Rich et al., (2010) which states that employee engagement can increase job satisfaction which in turn will also have an impact on employee performance.
Employee engagement is recognized as an important element of effectiveness in an organization (Mann & Harter, (2016); Ruck et al., (2017); Khodakarami & Dirani, (2020). The main reason behind this is the fact that the employees involved are workers who are more profitable, productive, safer, and healthier (Khodakarami, 2019). The emergence of a new workforce called “Millennial” has made employee engagement even more difficult (Jha et al., 2019). A survey by Deloitte, (2016) stated that the majority of millennial generation workers want to change their company by 2020. In addition, according to the PwC report, (2011), most CEOs will consider retaining, attracting, and getting millennial engagement as the biggest challenge. for today’s organizations. Moreover, during the COVID 19 pandemic, it will test our adaptability and flexibility to be able to respond to major crises (Hoq, 2020). Millennial generation workers, such as lecturers, are required to be able to respond to this situation because employee engagement is an important thing that can also affect job satisfaction. Employee job satisfaction is also known to be very important to enable an employee to bring out the maximum ability for his job (Setiawan et al., 2020). Moreover, a lecturer bears a heavy responsibility in educating his students, Fitriyana et al., (2016) and is the spearhead of a student’s success.
Engagement and job satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic have sparked debate regarding the importance of reconsidering employee job satisfaction, such as whether or not organizations need to redesign their employee support programs to keep employees fully focused on maintaining satisfaction levels. Since this has an effect on increasing motivation and ultimately increasing actual productivity, more consideration may be needed. Research results (KC et al., 2020) have shown that most employees will feel satisfied even though they work at home, but several other important aspects of job satisfaction have not been explained, including differences through a gender perspective. According to Chaudhary, (2017) gender has a significant influence on individual values and attitudes which are known to be important to consider gender differences in engagement relationships in several jobs. In addition, according to the gender socialization approach (Calabrese et al., 2016), gender differences can have an impact on a person’s moral orientation because there are differences in values and psychological characteristics between men and women. The purpose of this study was to first measure the impact of employee engagement on job satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, by proving whether or not there is a difference between engagement and job satisfaction between a male gender perspective and a female gender perspective.
Based on the results of the analysis and discussion that has been obtained through data processing using LISREL 8.8, the conclusion that can be drawn is that there is a difference between the effect of engagement on job satisfaction from a sample group of male millennial lecturers and a sample of female millennial lecturers. The effect of engagement on job satisfaction is known to be greater in the female millennial lecturer group than the male millennial lecturer group. These results can be seen through the path coefficients of all dimensions on the engagement and job satisfaction variables of male millennial lecturers and female millennial lecturers which are very significant. This can be supported by the statement of Jin & Park, (2016) through an identityneutral view which explains work engagement, assuming that gender differences between men and women or all racial minorities can jointly show their engagement in the workplace (Jin & Park, 2016). Although the effect of engagement on job satisfaction is known to be greater in the female millennial lecturer group and there is an intergender perspective, overall, it shows that 79.75% of Millennial lecturers still persist in working with their organization. So that gender differences still show their interest in their place of work and can provide positive results on their work through job satisfaction.
The results of this study can be used as recommendations by company management in measuring how much impact employee engagement has on job satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in proving the differences in perceived work engagement and satisfaction between male and female gender perspectives. The implications of this research have proven that during the current situation during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, there are differences in gender perspectives between men and women in dealing with the impact of engagement on job satisfaction of millennial lecturers. In this study, many aspects such as technology, finance, cultural shocks, gender and emotion, and limited space for activities are still neglected, so that in future studies it is better to include predictor variables. Judging from the descriptive analysis method, the method in this study still has several limitations in determining all behaviors related to the construction of research carried out in more depth, therefore it is suggested to conduct further research better by confirming the results of the questionnaire conducted through the interview process.
Author: Prof. Dr. Anis Eliyana, S.E., M.Si.
Details of this research available at:
(The Engagement and Working Satisfaction of Millennial Lecturers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Differences in Gender Identity Perspectives)