• Lauren Collison

Gen What? A Breakdown of Generations & How to Motivate Them

The other day, we found an interesting pin on Pinterest breaking down the different generations of employees and what motivates them. And then we thought, 'What a great idea for a blog post!' But first, why is this relevant? Well, chances are, you most likely have employees from a variety of generations and every one is probably motivated differently. Let's breakdown the different types of generations:


Baby Boomers. Baby boomers were born during 1946 to 1964, and they're the generation that's getting closer to retirement age now more than other generations. Growing up during the Cold War, Elvis, The Beatles, these individuals tend to be optimistic, more focused on their own success, and are usually motivated through positions with an authority-type role. They are also more enticed to be rewarded with benefits like retirement, health insurance, life insurance, etc. How do you motivate baby boomers? Generally through great benefit packages, opportunities for growth and for authority positions, as well as recognition for their hard work.

Environments like this are usually common with Millennials.

Gen X. These are the employees who are born from 1965 to 1980. They're typically more independent and have college or higher education degrees. What motivates them? Work/life balance, family benefits (daycare at work or vouchers), corporate well-being, receiving credit/recognition for their work, and meaningful and engaging job tasks.


Gen Y a.k.a. Millennials. Born from 1980 to 1995, these individuals tend to be more tech-savvy and more conscious on topics such as the environment or social issues. What they mostly want out of their employer is meaningful job tasks, work/life flexibility and immediate feedback or positive reinforcement. Opportunities to let them be creative or express opinions motivates them as well.


Gen Z. And lastly, we have the Generation Z employees who were born after 1996. Typically, Gen Z-ers appreciate and thrive in a diverse and practical workplace and also tend to like stability. How do Z-ers get or feel motivated in the workplace? Give them some freedom and independence to discover and learn on their own and praise or recognize them for their work skills and accomplishments.


Why does this benefit the employer? The more an employer understands the employee, their generation-specific skill set and what motivates them, the healthier and more productive the environment. Because happy and motivated employees equals an overall happy and motivating workplace.

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