Friday, November 30, 2007

Motivating Generation Y (or anyone else, for that matter)

Only 30 percent of workers aged 21-30 (what we call Gen Y) would strongly recommend their organization as a good place to work.

How come?

Only 39 percent of the Gen Y workers said their boss did a good job of recognizing and praising their accomplishments. And that's what Gen Y workers want, according to a new study by Leadership IQ.

How little time and effort it takes to positively reinforce an employee. And the ensuing rewards - lower job turnover, more highly motivated employees, better production - are totally worthwhile.

It's fine to have high expectations of your employees, but it's not fine to have employees meet or exceed those expectations without a positive word.

I once worked for a C-level executive for several years (he's now the President of a company with 9,000 employees). I worked hard for him - late evenings and many weekends.

He'd walk out of the office at 7 or 8pm on a Friday or Saturday night, walk over to where I was working and say, "Eric - you can take the rest of the weekend off."

It was a small thing - he wasn't given to extravagant praise. But in that one small sentence, he acknowledged how hard I was working and that he appreciated it.

A small thing - but 15 years later, I still remember it fondly.

Know what motivates your workers. You cannot motivate others - but you can find out what is their individual motivation and use that for the betterment of everyone.

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