Motivating each generation

05/03/2018 Filed under HR, Manchester, SME, staff, Support, Teambuilding


engaging each generation


There are now 5 generations of workers, all with different upbringings, values, motivators and way of living. As each different generation have a different way of working, it may be difficult to find a happy medium in motivating and rewarding a work force.


The ‘Silent Generation’


This generation of individuals were born between 1928-1945, so naturally there is now only a small percentage of this generation which remains in the work force and if they are remaining they’re usually residing in an executive or advisory role. In 2015 we saw the Silent Generation make up 3% of the work force, where as we are expected to see this fall to 1% by 2020.


As individuals, this generation is described as non-risk takers and conformers and are said to be motivated by flexible schedules, health and fitness opportunities and most importantly incentives to help them plan for the future.


The ‘Baby Boomers’


Moving onto the next generation, the ‘Baby Boomers’ are those born in 1946-1964. In 2015 this generation made up 31% of the workforce, where as this is expected to drop to 22% in 2020, with the vast majority expected to retire by that time.


Seen as individuals with a strong work ethic, team orientated and competitive, the ‘Baby Boomers’ are said to be motivated by money, prestigious job titles and recognition.


‘Generation X’


This generation is made up of those born between 1965-1979. 2015 saw ‘Generation X’ make up 21% of the workforce, with a slightly less 20% expected to be seen by 2020. This generation share similarities to the ‘Baby Boomers’, but are also seen to prefer work independently and believes career progression should be based on competence and not rank or seniority.


Again, similarly to the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, this group is also motivated my monetary rewards, however they also appreciate flexible working, recognition from the boss and tuition reimbursement.


‘Generation Y’ (The Millennials)


Millennials are those individuals born 1980-1995. There has been a big focus on Millennials recently, especially as there is a perception that they are bad with money and have a tendency to ‘job hop’. The Millennials are seen as multitaskers, family centric, tech savvy and entrepreneurial. 2015 saw this generation make up 45% of the work force with an expected 50% for 2020.


Unlike previous generations, they prefer motivators such as stock options, skills training and time off to spend with family and friends.


‘Generation Z’


Finally, we see the introduction of ‘Generation Z’ – those born 1996 and later. Making up a small 1% of the workforce in 2015, we are expected to see ‘Generation Z’ make up 7% of the workforce in 2020. Carrying a lot of similar traits to the Millennials, this generation is perceived as multi-taskers, tech savvy, entrepreneurial and self-starters.

So far, this is the only generation we have seen which don’t respond largely to monetary rewards. Generation Z’s motivators include responsibility, feedback, online training and social rewards.


How to motivate a multi-generational workforce?


A typical workforce will be made up with a mixture of individuals from different generations, which means it can be difficult to establish what motivators will work best, what engagement methods are most effective and how to ensure everyone works harmoniously.


Providing flexible benefit packages is a great way to ensure each generation is catered for. Although it is important to note each individual is different and may have different priorities by those stated in their generational group, this is a great way to enable people to have a choice in their motivators and benefits, resulting in a more engaged workforce. Another area to focus on would be flexible working hours, this will benefit the large majority of the workforce therefore increasing productivity.


For more information how to engage your work force, contact the team at!