· News

20-year-olds most demotivated workers

For all age groups the biggest motivator at work is flexible working

People aged 20 are the least motivated workers in Britain, according to research from training provider Full Potential Group.

The Motivation at Work report found that work/life balance (33%), too much stress (25%), workplace bureaucracy (22%), and conflict and tension (20%), were the factors contributing most to 20-year-olds’ lack of motivation.

For all age groups the biggest motivators at work were flexible working (67%), stretch and challenge (46%), and the freedom to make their own decisions (44%). This last motivator rose to 68% among working mums as the most important motivator.

The biggest demotivators were a lack of work/life balance (33%), the inability to work remotely (26%), and job uncertainty (25%). Others included a lack of recognition or reward (22%), the team they work with or manage (21%), stress (18%) , and no flexible working (18%).

Carole Gaskell, managing director of Full Potential Group, said employers might need to approach generations differently. “People might be surprised that 20-year-olds were found to be the least motivated workers in Britain, but many bosses and leaders are getting it wrong by trying to motivate their young workforce in the same way they motivate themselves,” she said.

“But times have changed and now the younger generation is less motivated by money or material rewards and more by autonomy and a work/life balance.

“The truth is long-term workplace motivation isn’t fuelled by perks or policies, but by whether our own individual motivators are being met. Regardless of age or title, we are all driven by a unique blend of motivators and it’s the strength of these that illustrates our individual motivational blend.”

Gaskell highlighted some different 'types' of employee when it comes to motivation. “‘The friend’ motivational driver likes to be connected with their business and team,” she said. “They like teamwork and need to feel supported and involved. ‘The builder’ likes an above-average standard of living, is target-driven and likes to feel like they are achieving things. For them pay is a key motivator, along with goals and targets.

“By knowing our own work motivators we can really understand what makes us tick, while bosses need to understand their own drivers and those of their teams so they can boost workplace motivation and help fix energy levels,” she said.