motivation to an age diverse workplace. It creates the understanding of motivation in the context of a diverse work environment. The paper explains why it is important for managers of organizations to acquire skills and knowledge regarding diversity management. It presents various challenges that managers face when motivating a diverse workforce. The paper performs a description of the diverse skill set that benefit organizations which incorporate different generations of employees. The research fosters knowledge on the characteristics of various generations, for example, the World War II generation, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and the millennial generation. On this, it identifies various aspects such as attitudes, preferences, and ways of thought and factors that motivate them. It describes how an organization benefits from young and old generation workforce in terms of traditional and technological skills. The paper provides information on the consequence of diversity, for example, improvement of output, promotion of innovation marketing and preservation of employees.
Introduction and background
Motivation is a fundamental aspect that managers in organizations should understand in order to ensure proper running of an organization. In order to understand motivation, managers should also possess diversity management skills useful for identification of various, employee altitudes, beliefs, background and ways of thought. These aspects are crucial for organizational development because it is possible to transmute them into positive inputs to organizations leading to improvements in productivity. An age diverse workplace triggers different altitudes and believes. For example, as employees age the factors that can motivate them changes. It is, therefore, evident that the old and new generation workforce have different altitudes, believes and thoughts which make their motivational factors distinct (Von Bonsdorff, 2011). Managers in organizations have faced challenging situations regarding the management of workplace composed of old and new generation employees. There is a need to understand age diversity and ways of motivating individuals for the purpose of harnessing skills from all workers. This research can help managers understand the issues of age diversity and motivation. For instance, managers can understand and identify unique employees' qualities and use them to enhance organization success. Motivating an age diverse workplace provides an organization with diverse skill sets for improvements in productivity and quality, reduction in conflicts, employee retention and maximization of staff contribution.
Diverse skill sets
In an organization set up, diverse workforce may present challenges for managers, especially when devising methods for motivating them. It is evident that workers from different age groups have differing preferences in terms of work environment and motivation. Some of the motivation strategies employed does not work for all employees due to differences in age. However, with proper management techniques, a manager can harness diversity to organizational advantage. This is possible through motivation of employees of all ages (Von Bonsdorff, 2011). Motivating employees ensures that they work efficiently. Motivation for workers ensures positive reaction because their beliefs attitudes and thoughts are put into consideration. The reaction directed to organizational operations contributes to organizational welfare. A workplace with different age groups is crucial because it creates an environment with diverse skills emanating from each generation. With proper motivation of the workforce, the skills and talents from different generations are brought to the table (McQuerrey, 2013). New generation employees are likely to possess immense knowledge on new, technological business, media such as social networking while old employees may have experience for working in environments where traditional means of communication are evident (McQuerrey, 2013).
An organization that respects diversity in the workplace can table these skills to organization advantage. When planning to motivate employees managers should study the behaviors of different age groups in order to come up with succinct motivational strategies. According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), (2007, p.14), different generations exhibit diverse workplace characteristics which influences organizational performance. For example, the World War II generation is perceived to have immense work experience, dedication, loyalty, emotional maturity and perseverance (AARP, 2007). In addition, research by AARP (2007), indicates that the motivation is possible for World War II generation if managers try connecting their actions to the entire good of the organization. Therefore, managers can motivate this generation by studying their characteristics and devising motivation strategies specifically for them.
The Baby Boom Generation is another generation that is oriented to service, dedicated to organizational operations, team oriented and experienced (AARP, 2007). In addition, the generation exhibits discomforts in times of conflicts, and may not mind about the budgets. This generation prefers the democratic concept of management. It also prefers managers that treat everyone with equity (AARP, 2007). Motivation of Baby Boom generation is possible if managers involve them in different tasks, and showing them how to make a difference. Recognition of these attitudes for Baby Boomers can enable an organization realize immense improvement because their skills can be tapped by motivating them. Managers can reward baby Boomers via promotion, recognition of their efforts as well personal appreciation.
The Generation Xers exhibits various characteristics useful for organizational development. The generation Xers is adaptive to work situations, exhibit technological literacy, independence and creativity. However, the generation Xers may also show negative aspects, for example, they may fail to trust authority, or become skeptical. In order to motivate this generation, managers should allow them perform their tasks with minimum supervision (AARP, 2007). This generation feels motivated when they receive free time, certifications, proper resources and openings for development. This generation has distinct communication preferences, for example, email. The millennial generation exhibits collective action, optimism, technological abilities and abilities to perform a multiple of tasks (AARP, 2007). However, supervision is a requirement because they are devoid of experience, especially when tackling complex problems. Motivation of all these generations enables an organization to tap the potentials and diverse skills leading to organizational development. The organization can motivate these generations through studying their needs, altitudes and preferences. This also helps managers to determine the best incentives for each generation because similar objectives for all generations lead to demotivation, which negates organizational operations (AARP, 2007).
Motivating diverse workplace ensures that an organization benefits from technological knowledge and skills from the young generations. The young generation, unlike the old, can be familiar with business technology tools than their older cohorts. This enables the organization achieve various goals, for example, effective communication with workers and customers. In addition, an organization that retains employees of the young generation enjoys a great competitive advantage than other organizations that fail to recognize the importance of age diversity (Nelson & Quick, 2011).
Diverse workforce ensures that the business has all forms of business knowledge. For example while the young generation provides an organization with technological skills, the old generation provide an organization with traditional skills. Both skills are essential for organization success because they help the organization deal with different situations, for example, handling customers who possess distinct preferences. An old generation employee can communicate effectively with customers of the same level hence organizational operations become efficient (McQuerrey, 2013).
Diversity promotes learning
Motivation of diverse workforce ensures interaction of employees in the workplace. The interactions take place especially during work situations such as team work. Since the teams consist of different generations, each individual or generation has a chance to learn the skills of another from a different generation (McQuerrey, 2013). Motivation triggers best work attitudes for work making it easy for people to interact and share ideas.
Organizations benefit from a diverse workforce even after some has retired. This is because diversity promotes passage of ideas to the young generation. This ensures that the skills from the old generation do not become obsolete. Organizations that consist of only young generation employees does not benefit from the mentoring and learning that takes place in a diverse workplace (McQuerrey, 2013).
Productivity and quality
Workforce motivation ensures productivity and quality in an organization due to diversity mentoring that occurs in a diverse environment. In a diverse environment, employees feel appreciated thus they can express themselves freely. In this way, workers in an organization gain from each other because they share experiences knowledge or skills. This is crucial for the welfare of the organization because the application of the skills and experiences gained from each other improve employee quality of work which in turn increases productivity. According to Henderson, Washington & Waktins-Butler (n.d), organizations practicing diversity training and motivation are more productive than their competitors who do not acknowledge diversity of the workforce. It is also evident that organizations that recognize the importance of diversity training by initiating diversity training programs realize positive performance results than their competitors who do not acknowledge diversity of employees in the workplace.
Research performed by Henderson, Washington & Waktins-Butler (n.d), asserts that diversity training can lead to positive outcomes for an organization. This is because the training experience helps in changing employee altitudes, especially between different generations, which have diverse feelings and the way of thinking. This is also acts as a way of encouraging employees to perform their tasks efficiently because they feel that the organization appreciates their efforts.…