The happiness building project is organizing the “Buddy Day” on February 14, 2018, which is the Valentine’s day expecting to build relationship among staff members. Presently, there are 3 age groups of university employees: 1) the Baby Boomer Generation or those 54 years and over (born in 1946-1964), 2) Generation X or those from 39 to 3 years old (born in 1965-1979) and 3) Generation Y or those 18 to 38 years old (born in 1980-2000). The number of group 3 recruited by Khon Kaen University is increasing year by year. This group has grown with advances in modern technology, and so those in this group are efficient to communicate, eager to learn new things, and always accept changes. Generation Y is the group of people who like to express themselves and are confident. They do not like being in a frame and conditions. There can be misunderstanding in the job because of age gaps, attitudes, thought, working behaviors and ways of living.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Jongrak Hongngam, Assistant to the President for Human Resources and adviser of the Happiness Building project or “Buddy Day” explained that the activities on this day enhance smooth atmosphere where people can adjust themselves. There will be transfer of knowledge, experiences and good cultures to the younger generation. At the same time, the older generation will listen to the idea of the new generation. The potential of the new generation will be utilized, and the young generation will be the power behind the propulsion of organization towards success.
“Buddy Day activities are derived from the present-day demographic issue of fewer children in a family. Khon Kaen University also enrolls smaller number of students. So this is a problem at the national level. A small research project was conducted and found that personnel in Khon Kaen University remain because they have their families here. Part of human resource development is to build attachment to the organization as a family. Now, there are a lot of staff members aged 30-45 years who are single. Those joining this project will be the pilot group and will be asked to do activities in personnel administration. We limit the age range because there cannot be similar administration for different groups of people. The objective of this project does not suit other groups. The activities on the Valentine’s Day are the by-products from meeting others who may be the future spouse, or buddy of the same sex. We will also have other activities like the Programmer Day, Family Day, or New Teacher Day. The organizers hope we will obtain some ideas and suggestions for good activities from Generation Y for the future,” Asst. Prof. Dr. Jongrak said.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Jongrak added, “Our organization consists of multiple types of personnel. In order for the organization’s mission to be successful, the potentials of the personnel must be drawn. But this can only be done when first, the person loves his own job, and secondly is happy with his job. Research reports show that personnel happiness depends on the person being praised or accepted. Therefore, creating the working atmosphere that facilitates happiness from praise and acceptance is important.”
“Buddy Day” is a pilot project that will tighten relationship among staff members, add to their understanding related to behaviors and working personality of different age groups. If personnel understand this, contradiction should be reduced during work. The working atmosphere will be a close-knit one, with empathy and mutual assistance. Different generations will then work together happily. The project will also open a chance for staff members from different faculties and organizations to get to know one another, forming new friendship and thus happiness in the work, leading to the ultimate goal of Khon Kaen University as a happy workplace.
News/Photographs: Wadchara Noichompoo