How to motivate a multigenerational workforce
While smart bosses think of their employees as individuals – not labels – there is plenty of behavioural research to suggest that there are significant nuances in the way different generations are motivated at work. As Inc.com explains, “An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work isn’t always the case.”
Traditionalists (the Silent Generation)
Since this generation was born between 1922 and 1945, you don’t see many of them in workplace. They firmly believe in an “Honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.” They’re extremely loyal and enjoy being respected for that. Since they’re conformists, they value most job titles and money.
Born between 1946 and 1964, this group is also referred to as the “Me” generation. They’re predominately in their 40s and 50s and are well-established in their careers. As such, they hold positions of power and authority, such as law firm leaders and executives.
Generation X has around 44 to 50 million Americans who were born between 1965 and 1980. They’re smaller than the previous and succeeding generations, but they’re often credited for bringing work-life balance. This is because they saw first-hand how their hardworking parents became so burnout.
Millennials (Generation Y)
Born after 1980, they tech-savvy generation is currently the largest age group in the country. They’re in their 20’s and are beginning to come into their own in the workforce. They’re the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce.
This generation is right on the heels of Millennials. And, they’re starting to enter the workplace. This generation is motivated by social rewards, mentorship, and constant feedback. They also want to be do meaningful and be given responsibility. Like their predecessors, they also demand flexible schedules.
This table from Mind Tools describes the different traits and characteristics, and how they are frequently stereotyped.