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How to Reward Middle-Aged Employees at Work

Part of keeping your workforce engaged includes rewarding them. Employees of different ages respond to different types of rewards. Baby boomers and older employees respond well to the following types of rewards:

  • Key assignments: Although people tend to associate the term reward with something monetary, that's not always the case. Why not reward a Boomer with an international assignment, a transfer, or a key slot on the company's five-year strategic planning committee? Leveraging and acknowledging Boomers’ experience is a benefit to both the company and the deserving Boomer!

  • Acknowledgment of their accomplishments and their years of service: Chapter 17 discusses employee recognition as a key engagement driver. Public recognition, handwritten notes, saying “Job well done!”, and similar acknowledgments of an employee's accomplishments and/or tenure are important engagement drivers for all generations, including Boomers.

  • Promotional opportunities: Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation ever, and they didn't build that wealth by accident. They are, and remain, quite ambitious. Many organizations fail to understand that ambition is a competency that must be leveraged among employees who demonstrate it.

    In this world of work–life balance, organizations often struggle to find the employee who is willing to take on a key position that requires above-and-beyond effort. Thankfully, Boomers have a history of climbing the next rung of the ladder, and many continue to be motivated by that next great promotion.

  • CSR activities: Rewarding Boomers by enabling them to give back is a great engagement driver. For example, many Boomers would respond very positively to a paid week to build homes for the homeless with an organization such as Habitat for Humanity.

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