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Motivating all generations in the workforce

Motivating multiple generations can present some difficulties for managers.

Changing social trends have created a diverse multigenerational workforce in the office that can challenge even the best managers.

“Economic realities are very different for Baby Boomers, who at 25 faced an era of prosperity and opportunity, versus Gen Y today, who at 25 faces an era of economic hardship and reduced opportunity,” employee benefits expert Ronald Leopold, told employee benefits news.

Companies that wish to provide continual innovation need to combine the experience of older workers with the creativity and enthusiasm of younger employees. As Baby Boomers age and begin to look toward retirement, businesses will need to develop programs designed to attract and retain younger staff, and also include long-time loyal employees.

Motivating multiple generations can present some difficulties for managers. Younger workers are usually more independent and can be less team driven than baby boomers. This means they may not be motivated by the same techniques. In fact, MetLife’s annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends notes that benefits often play a stronger role in attracting members of Generations X and Y, more so than they do for older generations.

The right employee rewards program will be able to bridge the motivation gap between different generations. Incentive programs can be set up to allow employees to choose from a wide variety of merchandise and enable managers to recognize workers with personalized rewards. Younger workers are more responsive to tangible rewards, while older employees may appreciate a prepaid gift card to a restaurant or store.

The programs can be a valuable management tool that can be used to create a culture that encourages efficient, innovative or cooperative behavior. Employees that are routinely acknowledged for their contributions are more productive. Creating a reward program allows supervisors to customize their rewards to fit each staff member.

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