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  • Writer's pictureSherri Elliott-Yeary

We Must Motivate Generations Differently to Bridge the Gap

We currently have five generations in the workplace, making it a challenging opportunity for management and organizations. Each generation has distinct values, attitudes, and behaviors they bring to the workplace. The multi-generational workforce requires patience, understanding and flexibility regarding policies and programs.

Veterans or Traditionalists (born 1922-1944) are now 3% of the workforce and will be 1% in 2020.

Baby Boomers (born 1945-1964) are now 31% of the workforce and will be 22% in 2020.

Generation X (born 1965-1979) are now 21% of the workforce and will be 20% in 2020.

Millennials or Generation Y (born 1980-2000) are now 45% of the workplace and will be 50% in 2020.

Generation Z or Gamer Generation (born 1997 and later) are now 1% of the workforce and will be 7% in 2020.

What Motivates each Generation:

A list of motivators for each generation

So How Do You Motivate the Different Generations?

Technology is King – create a platform where employees can share their successes. Regardless of the generations, recognition is critical.

Conduct Focus Groups – managers need to conduct focus groups with their employees on how they like to be recognized for their accomplishments.

Customer Service – make the customer the priority. This is what every generation needs to work for as a common purpose.

Personal Growth – Work-life balance should not be “lip service”. Companies need to understand what that means to each person of every generation.

Develop a Mentorship Program – start reverse mentorship programs in which the employee and manager are both developed. Discuss strengths rather than developmental issues.

Define the Culture – this is important for any employee so that it can be explained to everyone!

Management Selection – Select managers based on experience, aptitude, capacity for growth, leadership style, flexibility, maturity and understanding of organizational and employee challenges and opportunities.

Education – constantly educate generations on the latest learning opportunities.

Let each generation contribute in the way they want, look for opportunities to provide cross mentoring.

Sherri Elliott-Yeary, the Generational Guru and best selling author of Ties to Tattoos, Turning Generational Differences into a Competitive Advantage, is a speaker, coach and trainer in the area of Human Resources and Talent Management. Sherri specializes in helping employers maximize their human capital by collaborating across the generational gap. Her expertise in human capital management and organization includes: workforce planning, company culture, training, assessments, HRIS implementation, regulatory compliance, strategic alignment, payroll, compensation and benefit programs. Learn more at

#engagement #results #Intheworkplace #leadership #Business

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