What’s the secret to motivating employees? Simple: Know them well. When you know what makes them curious, interested, and passionate, you’ll be able to plan your corporate programs better and improve relationships with them further. Part of knowing your team is being familiar with their generational preferences.
Remember that your employees’ worldviews are influenced by the social contexts from the year they were born. Here’s how you can motivate different employees from different generations in your workplace:
For the Millennials:
Let’s start with the generation who has quickly saturated the industry lately: the Gen Y. These are your employees born between 1981 and 1996. As you might have read up already in so many surveys and news reports, this is the generation of job hoppers. They’re not as loyal as the other generations to the company they’re working at, but they can be loyal to the organization’s purpose and values, as long as it coincides with their personal beliefs.
The key to making millennials stay on your company and stay on top of their performance is to make your business philosophy real to them. If you value integrity, there should be checks and balances in your company. If you prioritize excellence, there should be ongoing training for improving skills or corporate travel incentives for rewarding performances. The principle is to go back to your core and reflect it in your activities to make an impact on your millennial workers.
For Gen X:
Born between 1965 and 1980, this generation strongly advocates for work-life balance. Why? They witnessed how their parents experienced burnout as the latter was tied to life at the office. Gen Xers experienced being home alone after school, as their moms and dads worked hardcore. When they entered the workforce, they wanted to change things up.
The way to motivate Gen X is to give them versatile options when approaching work. Let them do their job remotely at certain days of the week. Toll out a flexible work schedule, wherein they can report to the office any time, as long as they complete the required hours a day. Give them the freedom to have a say in choosing tasks, developing new processes, and gaining new skills and knowledge.
Apart from flexibility and freedom, organize mentoring programs. Gen X values feedback on their career progress, but be careful not to micromanage. Remember that these are the independent, latch key kids who grew up fending for themselves.
For Baby Boomers:
These are the people born between 1946 and 1964. In most instances, they’re the ones at the leadership positions in companies, as they were able to grow their career with the organization over the years. What keeps this bunch inspired?
First is monetary benefits. They’re the ones hit hard by the Great Recession. They’re also the caregivers to their elderly parents (and sometimes, adult children). Baby boomers are after financial rewards than to feel a sense of security, but that’s not all. They also enjoy nonmonetary benefits, like flexible retirement planning and recognition of their expertise and years of experience.
Give them the opportunity to work part-time. Acknowledge their contributions at monthly town halls. Let them be mentors to your younger employees. This will for sure boost your baby boomers’ productivity, as well as loyalty to the company.
Again, the things that motivate different people in your workplace largely depends on their generational sensibilities. Be aware of these as much as possible. Now, go rally your team towards productivity.