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FYI Solutions Blog

Jun 18, 2013

The Generational Approach

Author: Janine Kramer

I recently read an article in by Maren Hogan, called “Motivate, Recognize, and Reward:  The Generational Approach.”   As a Staffing Practice Lead at FYI Solutions, the Recruiting Team here and I find ourselves not only keeping up with an every changing marketplace, but also the generational demographics in the workforce.

As Maren states in her article, “the workforce currently contains four generations, and while it’s not news anymore, it’s still a brand new situation to many in HR and Management.”  These four generations, working together, side by side at times, can make for interesting challenges for management to motivate and reward each generation for organizational effectiveness.

Below are some excerpts describing characteristics of each of the generations and tidbits on their differences and how to motivate individuals within each group.

Millennials are tech-savvy

…which translates as connecting responsibility to personal goals. While Gen X might bristle at having to prove ROI or having compensation tied to specific goals, Gen Y thrives in this environment.

Key Phrase: “You made a difference today!”

Why: Consistent, constant feedback is important to Millennials, so letting them know how they are doing on a day-by-day basis is crucial. They also want to be assured that they are working toward a goal that affects the company or organization.

Gen X-ers are self-reliant

…and self-directed. So while the news might focus on work flex in the younger generations, you’ll notice that it’s Gen X that virtually demands it. Focus on providing flexible options and solid deadlines to get the most out of this sub set of workers.

Key Phrase: “We trust that you know how to handle this.”

Why: Gen X can be pessimistic and a bit cynical so show them that they’ve earned the trust that their generation values. They are comfortable with change so they don’t need to be micro-managed, preferring to roll with the punches.

Boomers sound like a manager’s dream come true

…which is because they fit the corporate definition of a great worker to a T. Team-oriented, optimistic and defined by their job, Boomers are driven by seeing their decisions in action. They need to see differences being made. They are motivated by action.

Key Phrase: “We need your leadership on this.”

Why: Boomers are willing to contribute but need to be recognized. Promotions and recognitions in front of their peers are paramount. They are used to economic certainty and an era where being recognized by the boss meant something.

Traditionalists are dedicated

…and won’t shy away from hard work but they need respect for their experience and to know that they are working for the good of the company. Reward their perseverance and dedication.

Key Phrase: “Your knowledge and experience is respected.”

Why: For Traditionalists, their legacy matters. Nearing the end of their professional life, they want tangible items that prove their personal self-worth. Focus on their service and longevity.

For the complete article, go to:

FYI Solutions provides IT staffing as well as solutions resources to its clients.  For more information about FYI, visit our website at, or contact us at 973-331-9050.


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