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Each generation develops different traits due to a number of reasons, among which resource availability, economic conditions, and advancement of technology are at the top. Every single attribute of Gen X, Gen Z, millennials, or any other generation plays a crucial role in society and the workplace. Let’s have a look at the motivations of each generation and how they perceive these purposes. 

Defining Motivation

Motivation is the driving force that propels us to take action. It gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us going until we reach our goals. Motivation can be intrinsic. It comes from within, or extrinsic, meaning it comes from outside sources.

  1. Motivation In Traditionalist Generation

Traditionalists or “Silent Generation” were born between 1928 and 1945. They are the first generation to grow up in the post-war era. This generation is characterized by their work ethic, loyalty, and sense of duty. 

Traditionalists are motivated by a sense of accomplishment, recognition, and security. They value stability and predictability, and they are often uncomfortable with change.

  1. Motivation In Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They are the largest generation in the workforce, and they are known for their optimism, ambition, and creativity. 

Baby Boomers are motivated by purpose, growth, and achievement. They value autonomy and flexibility and are often willing to take risks.

  1. Motivation In Generation X

Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980. They are the first generation to grow up with technology. They are characterized by their independence, pragmatism, and diversity. 

Gen Xers switch jobs for stability. They value work-life balance, and they are often skeptical of authority. Generation Xers are motivated by balance, challenge, and recognition. 

  1. Motivation In Millennials

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. They are the most diverse generation in history. They are characterized by their idealism, collaboration, and connectivity. 

Millennials are motivated by a sense of meaning, purpose, and community. They value social responsibility and are often eager to learn and grow.

  1. Motivation In Generation Z

Generation Z was born between 1997 and 2012. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet. They are tech-savvy, entrepreneurial, and socially conscious. 

Generation Z is motivated by purpose, flexibility, and collaboration. They value diversity and inclusion and are often eager to make a difference in the world.

Cross-Generational Motivation Patterns

While there are some critical differences in motivation between generations, some common motivators transcend generational boundaries. These include:

  • A sense of purpose

Employees are more motivated when they feel their work is meaningful and contributes to something larger than themselves.

  • Opportunities for growth and development

Employees are more motivated when they have opportunities to learn new skills and advance their careers.

  • A positive work environment

Employees are more motivated when they feel like they are part of a team and their work is valued.

Nurturing Motivation And Engagement Across Generations

To nurture enthusiasm and involvement across generations, it is important to understand each era’s unique motivators and values. It is also essential to create a positive work environment that is supportive and inclusive

By doing these things, you can create a workforce that is motivated and engaged and that is capable of achieving great accomplishments.

Mindset Matters

By understanding the mindset and motivation of each generation, you, as a manager, can tackle each candidate in your team. You can better handle them and execute operations based on their beliefs and motivations. This approach will foster a collaborative work environment where every candidate feels valued and an essential part of the team.