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IRF: Generations in the Workforce & Marketplace

Keeping employees happy, productive and loyal is essential to the long-term health of any company. But generational differences in the workforce tend to complicate matters when it comes to essential elements of employee engagement such as rewards and recognition – or at least that is what we have been led to believe. To determine whether Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials do indeed have different motivational “triggers,” The Incentive Research Foundation (the IRF) recently conducted an extensive review of more than three decades of relevant research in this area, citing 72 unique sources, including books, white papers and articles. In addition, approximately 10 hours of interviews with 11 generational and rewards and recognition experts were conducted, along with a spot survey of meeting planners. What the IRF found is that while understanding the general characteristics of these distinct demographic groups is useful and desirable, those characteristics are not definitive when it comes to designing and implementing rewards and recognition programs. View the study here.

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