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Motivating Generation X Employee motivation is one of the key factors that determine the performance of a company.

Motivation can be defined as the drive that enables us to do what we do. Bruce (2002) defines motivation as what drives us to accomplish our desired ends. He further states that, motivation is to give incentive, reason, interest or enthusiasm that causes a certain behavior or specific action. There are several ways that an organization can employ to motivate their employees. Some of the techniques that an organization can employ to motivate its employees are to offer rewards and incentives, these could be monetary or non-monetary, promotions, verbal praise in a case of a job well done, good working conditions among others. However, how to motivate employees has recently become a hard task for the management of various companies. This is because most of the employees in organizations today are of the generation X. The generation X is made up of people born between 1960s and the 1980s. They have grown up under very different values from the ones of those in generation Y. For example, this generation has grown up seeing their parents go to work all day and all night only for then to be retrenched after thirty years of faithful service. For them now, job security does not matter anymore they only see each job opportunity to advance their careers so they will always be hopping from company to company in search of greener pastures This, therefore, means that in order to retain generation X. Managers will always have to offer very attractive incentives. By incentives here, I mean that all forms of financial returns and tangible benefits received by an employee as part of the employment relationship. It can be divided into two parts, monetary compensation and non-monetary compensation. Since generation X is motivated a lot by quantities, human resource managers should ensure that the entire package give to motivate

generation X will be more than enough to keep them in the organization so as to retain their skills. Generation X apparently has more skills and expertise for various jobs in a company, and they are usually the majority hence the backbone of the company. Most of them are well conversant with the core jobs that help an organization achieve very high profits. They also usually have expertise in the core units in a company. The core units are those that bring most sales and are most crucial to the successful running of business in an organization. For example, a well motivated sales team will increase turnover for the company. Other departments responsible for smooth running of operations in a company include IT, Finance department among others. Management could also motivate the generation X using other financial forms of motivation other than an attractive salary. This could be a bonus which is mainly an incentive given to reward good performance purchase of shares in a company at a fixed price, and when employees feel some sense of ownership in a company they will stay longer and work more as they understand the benefits involved should the company make high profits. Generation X, having grown up in an era where there parents were always busy, they did not somehow get sufficient parental love. They, therefore, do not want the same to happen to their families and, therefore, in most cases will always choose their families over work. Management should, therefore, ensure that on the remuneration package, it also offers sufficient non-monetary compensation. Bhatia (2010) defines non-monetary motivation as benefits employees receives other than the normal monetary compensation package to boost employee morale. Non-monetary compensation includes any benefit received by an employee from an employer

that is non-financial but satisfying. They include but not limited to opportunity for growth, flexible hours, recognition and praise, friendships and task enjoyment. Since most of them value families, show them, you really are considerate of their families and organize to provide them with an

insurance health cover for a specific number of dependants of the employees. This goes a long way in showing them that you really are aware and care about their families well being. Also, another thing that can motivate them is offering paid leave days. The generation X usually value their time spent away from work. Having them take some time off while paying them at the same time will motivate them to work harder whenever they resume work from leave. They could also take time off just to spend quality time with their families. Managers also need to take note of the fact that many generation X employees prefer work place that recognizes they are human beings that need to socialize. A good human resource manager will, therefore, ensure that he has organized for employee team building sessions, office end of year parties so as to motivate and retain the generation X. This generation also seems to value a lot freedom and creativity in the work place. They are usually very innovative and will feel locked out if they are not given the chance to showcase their ability to think out of the box. Management should ensure that proper platforms are put in place to help generate more creative ideas form these people and help incubate the ideas to become realities. Another tip that managers need to know with regard to handling this new generation is that they should always be given the freedom to work and do things by themselves. This, however, should not be confused with not giving any instructions at all. This is because; the members of this generation do not like it at all when managers are always in their necks exerting pressure on them concerning work related issues. Having to be supervised while doing all kinds of tasks may make them feel like the management thinks they are incompetent and will, therefore, quit the job if they are not give the autonomy and freedom to make their own decisions.

Another fact that management cannot brush off is the fact that generation x is completely technosavvy. They have grown up in a technological era and, therefore, cannot survive where there are no such supporting systems. An organization should make a point of purchasing all if not most technological assets that will make work easier. This generation also places a lot of value on new gadgets and merchandise available in the techno savvy environment. For example, to motivate them more, an organization could reward the employees using material goods that they are likely to appreciate like phones, iPods, laptops, mobile phones, fashionable clothes among others. Members of generation X also have the need to be trained and educated on company operations. They are always willing to learn very fast to grasp. So whenever they are given such a grand opportunity for training and development, their performance is more likely to improve. Otherwise, they may feel frustrated and underperform or shut down and eventually quit. Another thing that is most likely to motivate this generation will be involvement in travel.The management should always organize for company trips to fun destinations like tropical beaches and the coast line so as to motivate generation X. However, when designing such a plan for travel management, you should take into account the fact that both male and female value differ in types of travel destinations. The men will want places where they could do loads of manly activities such as bungee jumping, riding on water crafts and also mountain climbing. Women, on the other hand, will prefer quiet destinations where they could just relax and have the time to be at peace and touch base with themselves. Conclusion In conclusion, since generation X usually makes most of the workforce it is very important for management to massage their egos in order to retain them as they have the skills of getting the or-

ganization up and running.To retain the best of talent among the generation X, organizations management should ensure that the remuneration package is a combination of both non-monetary and monetary benefits that attract the Xers. For example, a high basic salary only may not be sufficient to retain them if the organization does not offer them the opportunity to advance their career. The management needs to understand that this generation is one that does not like a stagnated career. It should, therefore, invest in providing training and staff development programs so as to boost the morale of these employees. Another area that the organization could also major in is employee recognition. A pat on the back for an employees efforts will highly motivate the generation X members. They will be motivated to put their best feet forward, simply beacause, someone recognized their efforts. The human resource managers, therefore, need to come up with a compensation scheme that will add more value to its generation X employees by increasing all perks mentioned in this paper as this is what motivates the staff more. A well motivated generation X staff will work harder, and this leads to effective performance and high returns for the company thereafter in the long run. In addition to all these, the goodwill of the organization will also increase.

References Allen, R. & Helms, M., (Fall 2002).Employee beliefs on relations between strategy rewards and organizational performance. Journal of Strategies of Business, 19 (2),116-139. Bhattacharyya, N., 2007.Payout Policy.Bradford: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Bhatia, K.2010. Compensation Management. E-book]Mumbai: Global Media.

Chan, K.and Lam, W.2011.Examining Underlying Motivation Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science [e-journal] 39(4),609-628 Available through EBSCO Host database [Accessed 11 May 2012 ]. Dewhurst, M., Guthridge, M. , and Mohr, E.2010. Motivating the X generation : Getting beyond money. McKinsey Quarterly Issue 1, pp12-15. Dunham, K. (2003). Motivating The X generation. Wall Street Journal, 32(6), 26-30.