Managing generations | Operations Management homework help


Case Study: Motivate your employees with incentives that matter to them.

“Kris Snyder — the founder and CEO of Vox Mobile, the mobile technology management company based in Cleveland, Ohio — offers his 130 employees a veritable cafeteria of benefits, compensation, and work assignments. “I think of my employees as a cast of characters,” says Kris, who is 42. “Everyone’s needs are different, so we can’t be a one-size-fits-all [employer].”

The majority of Vox Mobile’s sales force — about 85% — are just out of school and on their first or second job. Its leadership team, however, is comprised of people in their 30s and 40s. To appeal to these different age groups, he has developed different sets of employee perks based mainly on where these two age groups are in their personal and professional lives. “I noticed that these groups have different motivations and, therefore, they need different incentives,” he says. “There are no hard and fast rules, but generally speaking, my Gen Y workers want us to fund their LinkedIn accounts; they like things like branded gear and company-sponsored happy hours — they’re more social and they’re not going home right after work. Gen Xers don’t care about logoed backpacks; instead they are looking at our 401(k) matching plan and our healthcare provisions.”

The different incentive packages and perks will likely shift along with the company’s demographics, says Kris. “As we build and grow and as the company goes through different stages, the makeup of our workforce will change, too,” says Kris. “We will navigate those changes and experiment with new ways to incentivize employees.”

** Source HBR, Managing People from 5 Generations by Rebecca Knight, September 25, 2014

Please list 2 different ideas for incentives (along with an explanation) for each of the 5 Generations in the Workplace that would motivate your employees.  How can you effectively communicate these various incentives?


Please review your readings and answer the following questions:

  1. How does each generation deal with conflict in the workplace?
  2. How does each generation like to be managed?
  3. How does each generation prefer to communicate?
  4. What skills does each generation bring to the workplace?
  5. How can these unique skills be optimized in the workplace?
  6. As a manager, what can you do to facilitate effectiveness and efficiency in a multi-generational workplace?