Multigenerational Study Topic Approval Example

Jane Doe

Trevecca Nazarene University

MOL 5800: Special Topics in Organizational Leadership

Dr. David Lomascolo






For my research proposal paper, I would like to study the sticking point of training.

Training has to do with skill and behavioral development, which can be a challenge for many

organizations given the different attitudes and priorities across generations. Often, it is assumed

that younger generations are more interested in training, but according to Shaw (2013), “contrary

to the stereotypes that older generations are resistant to change, Randstad found that 56 percent

of older workers said they want more skills” (p.208). In addition, this desire for tools and

resources that will keep team members marketable and relevant in the workforce provides a

challenge for organizations to attract and retain talent, particularly if their training initiatives are

ineffective or are not seen as a priority among leadership. Specifically, I am interested in

studying training within the context of Ryman Hospitality Properties.

Ryman Hospitality Properties (RHP) is a Nashville-based business of over 2,000 team

members focused on tourism, entertainment, and food and beverage. The organization is

classified as a REIT (real estate investment trust) with two arms of the business; one focuses on

asset management of five large convention-style hotels across the nation, and the other is

concerned with both the management and daily operations of its entertainment venues. In the last

three years, the company has expanded from iconic music venues like the Grand Ole Opry and

Ryman Auditorium into the restaurant industry. In partnership with Blake Shelton, the company

operates the Ole Red Honky Tonk-style brand, with locations in Nashville, TN; Tishomingo,

OK; Gatlinburg, TN; and the newest location scheduled to open spring 2020 in Orlando, FL.

I chose this organization because in my experience as HR Training Specialist, I witnessed

both sides of this sticking point within RHP. I have seen how the generational differences make

it difficult to find a one-size-fits-all approach to skill building, and I believe training is an area

where RHP has lagged behind other organizations and as a result, has lost some exceptional team

members when it could not provide resources to help them grow. Because of the extremely low




priority of training within the organization currently, I believe a small increase in a focus on

effective training would yield a very high return on investment for the company. With the depth

and breadth of the organization’s businesses, every kind of employee and career path is

represented, from the 50-year veteran usher at the Grand Ole Opry to the part-time college

student working as a server in a fledgling restaurant. I would like to look at how different

generational beliefs about training impact the effectiveness of a variety of methods of training on

performance and retention. I believe there is likely to be some overlap between the sticking

points of training, knowledge transfer, and fun at work, but I would like to prioritize training for

the purpose of this paper.

Increasing my awareness of how to provide effective training solutions across a diverse

group of individuals will be useful in helping RHP to build critical onboarding programs within

the restaurant brands, as opening new restaurants is a key strategic growth initiative within the

organization, and currently, the process includes a mass hire event of several hundred restaurant

workers, followed by a three-week intensive training prior to soft opening the location to the

public. In addition, understanding how to make ongoing training opportunities available to the

greatest number of team members in ways that allow them to understand and implement the

information they learn will be helpful not only in retaining those team members who are most

motivated to learn and grow within RHP, but the knowledge of training across generations will

be value added for myself in my HR career and in helping develop other organizations (be it

future employers, my church, or in civic organizations).









Shaw, H. (2013). Sticking Points: how to get 4 generations working together in the 12 places they come apart. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum.