How to Motivate a Gen Y

Do you have any Gen Y customers or team members that you need to figure out how to motivate?  Gen Ys, also known as the Millennial Generation are pretty much anyone under the age of 25 in the workplace. Read on for some useful tips on how to motivate them.

Last weekend we popped over to some old friends of ours for a barbeque and gorged ourselves on lamb, chicken, beef – a real meat fest. And it was cooked and served by our host’s daughter, Becki, 23 and her long standing boyfriend also 23.

Having known her since she was a dangling 11 year old, we got chatting about their careers since leaving University.

“I’m not happy at the moment”

“Why not” I enquired, surprised as it seemed a pretty good job to me with a career path mapped out for her.

“I’m not learning anything anymore”

Her boyfriend was also getting itchy feet at work for the same reason, because he wasn’t given any opportunity to learn things.

At this point I was intrigued. “So if they offered you more money, promotion…would you stay?”

“No, I’m going to move onto a place with a manager that helps me to develop and learn”

The message is clear. If you manage Gen Y’s, one of their prime motivators is to develop themselves and continue to learn. So how many opportunities to learn are you giving them? Learning is not just about attending courses. Think:

  • Mentor programmes
  • New projects
  • Delegate often
  • Job shadowing and rotation
  • Access to online learning programmes which are structured
  • Give them instant downloadable learning opportunities
  • Challenge them

And above all, coach them – they want attention from you, they’ve had it since they were born, more than any generation and they want it at work. From you, their boss.