Tailoring reward to a multi-generation workforce

One effect of depressed pay over the past few years, combined with pension and other factors, is the growing proportion of older people in the workplace. With more 60 and 70-year-olds continuing to work, reward policies will have to address multi-generational employees with different reward needs and expectations.

For example, younger people seek more career and training opportunities, while latest Randstad research shows the most attractive retention factor for older staff is a more relaxed work arrangement, with fewer and/or adapted working hours as the main motivators to continue working.

The latest CIPD research reveals one interesting split between younger and older workers in relation to pay: 53% of 18–24-year-olds prefer performance-related reward compared to 39% of those aged 55 or older, while younger workers are less keen (12%) to see pay linked to organisation performance than older employees (25%).

In the CIPD’s words, these findings pose a challenge for employers in terms of pay and reward for increasingly age-diverse workforces, and a traditional single, narrow reward system is thus unlikely to mean employees from all generations feel equally well-rewarded.