In South Africa 48% of all quantity surveyors are identified as generation Y, a generation
born between 1981–2000. This highlights the importance of generation Y to the quantity
surveying profession as they are the future upon which this profession will build. Employers
in the quantity surveying industry need to know what makes the workplace attractive and
satisfying for this generation in order to effectively recruit and retain the talent of generation
Y. A literature review done on job satisfaction of quantity surveyors indicated that very little
research has been conducted on the subject in general and no research was found
specifically on job satisfaction of generation Y quantity surveyors. The purpose of this study
was to investigate if generation Y quantity surveyors are experiencing job satisfaction.
The research approach for this study consists of a comprehensive literature review and
substantiated empirical research. Various sources of literature were reviewed including
books, articles, reports and papers. The literature review examined information with regards
to generational theory, the relation between motivation, job satisfaction and employee
turnover and lastly aspects about the quantity surveying industry in South Africa. Empirical
research was conducted making use of focus groups as qualitative research method.
Research participants were generation Y quantity surveyors who were profiled according to
gender, race and experience to ensure diversity within the focus groups. Findings
It was found that the majority of generation Y quantity surveyors are experiencing job
satisfaction within their current working environment. This was only achieved once the
correct “employee-employer fit” was found. It was also established that generation Y
quantity surveyors are motivated by growth opportunities, rewards/bonuses, recognition,
appreciation, support/help/mentorship and being part of the team/business. It was further
found that these workplace factors also affect employee turnover among this generation.
The focus of this study was limited to the quantity surveying profession in South Africa with a
specific focus on generation Y quantity surveyors. Research informants were limited to
generation Y quantity surveyors born during 1980–1990 and included both candidate and
professional quantity surveyors.
What is original / value
The findings of this paper will be of value to employers in the quantity surveying profession,
as job satisfaction of generation Y employees has not previously been addressed. Adapting
management strategies according to the findings may result in higher job satisfaction, lower
employee turnover and increased profitability.