Motivating Airmen in Generation X, Y, and Z

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Aaron Doty
  • 127th Wing
As military members and leaders we are all faced with the task of motivating and retaining our airmen. If we look at what motivates Baby Boomers VS Generation X,Y, and Z, I have found through personal experience and reading that not all of us respond the same.
Here is a short list of what may help motivate our upcoming generation of future leaders.
1. Respect for me as a person
2. Good pay
3. Chance for promotion
4. Getting along with others on the job
5. Opportunity to do interesting work
6. Opportunity for self-development and improvement

If we as leaders can address these motivators I believe we can continue to grow and improve the sustainability of the 127th Wing workforce.

Another factor for these generations is leadership. These generations have grown up with structure and supervision, with parents who were role models.

All three groups are looking for leaders with honesty and integrity. It's not that they don't want to be leaders themselves, they'd just like some great role models first. They want learning opportunities. They want to be assigned to projects they can learn from.

They're looking for growth, development, and a career path. : All of them say they want to work with people they click with. They like being friends with co-workers. Supervisors who provide for the social aspects of work will find those efforts well rewarded by this.

Try to make work fun, a little humor, a bit of silliness, even a little irreverence will make your work environment more attractive.  Treat their ideas respectfully, even if they haven't been around a long time. My last thought is that you should always treat your superiors, peers and subordinates like you want to be treated.