Running head: TOPIC APPROVAL 1
Multigenerational Study Topic Approval Example
Trevecca Nazarene University
MOL 5800: Special Topics in Organizational Leadership
Dr. David Lomascolo
TOPIC APPROVAL 2
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
TOPIC APPROVAL 3
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).
TOPIC APPROVAL 4
Shaw, H. (2013). Sticking Points: how to get 4 generations working together in the 12 places they come apart. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum.
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