Motivate Staff Differently

As you know, there are now five generations in our workplace. Each generation communicates differently, thinks differently, behaves differently, and is motivated differently.

Gen-Ys, Millennials, and Pluralists aren't motivated by money or promotion as much as their predecessors. Nor can you threaten them. The traditional carrot-and-stick approach simply won't work.

As a consequence, the way we motivate staff has to be holistic to cover all generations. Motivating your staff can be broken in four categories;

·        Happiness - Linked to our only positive emotion (Joy) happiness will keep everyone motivated. Do this by valuing each person, celebrating birthdays and festive events, provide rewards such as 'duvet days' or ‘happy hours’, and most importantly take the time to talk with each person. When was the last time you sat with your team at lunchtime?

·        Ownership - Have a clear direction, know where you are going and how you will get there. Communicate this effectively. Provide the tools to allow your staff to do their work and leave them to get on with it. Continue with plenty of informal feedback but don't micro-manage. 

·        Career - Give as many people as you can something meaningful to work on apart from their day-to-day work. Have a number of project teams and include as many of your staff in each team as you can. Ideas on work practices and change processes (the way change is implemented) should be from the bottom up, not the top down. Vary your training practices, encourage movement within your organisation or perhaps move completely to another organisation is preferred. Millennials and Plurals need change and will stay with your company for about three years before looking to move on.

·        Environment - No one likes working in a cramped dark cold cupboard. Open up your workplace, have plenty of natural light, provide places to relax and make these places feel like 'home'. Free WiFi, TV, and electronic games will keep the junior staff motivated while newspapers, books, and an internet terminal will keep the 'mature' staff happy.

Making a few simple low-cost changes can help to motivate staff across all generations. Just ask them what they want.