Young workers less money motivated


Millennial employees (born after 1994) claim to be less money motivated than Gen Y (1980-1994) according to the report, Gen Y vs. Gen Z Workplace Expectations. Only 28% of millennials believe money is biggest motivator to work harder and stay with company, compared with 42% Gen Y. Millennials regard development opportunities, rather than money, as the biggest motivator, signalling a strong entrepreneurial ethic in these young workers, who claim to be best engaged when listened to and valued by their employers. The results have surprised many who thought materialism was on the rise amongst younger generations.

The survey showed that, when given choice between advancing to higher level in organisations or acquiring a new skills, overwhelming 68% would opt for new skills, with 59% choosing the opportunity to gain new skill over higher pay. Whether at the heart of this is a simple questions of pay is debatable. The decision to reject advancement within a company over training could also indicate that young workers are more aware a changing workplace and the decline in lifelong employment with one company. Workers with a CV showing experience in more than one or two companies are increasingly attractive to employers, coupled with the news that staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more. In the long term, upskilling early and getting varied experience could make you more money over time, thereby softening the loss in the short-term.

Worryingly for millennial employees, the report goes on to claim that businesses are failing to meet this demand for skills, with a third of employees admitting they are dissatisfied with their career development resources offered by their current employer. Furthermore, over two thirds of employees haven’t had a career development discussion with their employer in last year, and 42% feel they don’t have a clear career path available to them. These are troubling statistics at a time when the nation’s fresh employees are hungry for skills and bettering themselves.

For employers the aim must be one of driving engagement with young workers and formulating plans to manage the talent within the business – rewarding enterprise and ambition through multiple means, not just wage increase. It is knowing your workers, what makes them motivated, through clear channels of communications and taking steps to evaluate engagement through regular appraisals, during which achievable goals and objectives are set and measured. Other options for developing talent can include job rotation and mentoring schemes, both of which come under the remit of learning and development.

Know your staff, understand differences between generations and react accordingly to ensure engagement at all levels.