Millennials less motivated by salary than Gen Y

Millennial employees (those born after 1994) claim to be less motivated by money than Gen Y (born between 1980 and 1994), according to a report by Randstad and Millennial Branding.

Gen Y vs. Gen Z Workplace Expectations is based on a survey of 2,000 Gen Y and millennial (or Gen Z) employees worldwide. It suggested only 28% of millennials believe money is the biggest motivator to work harder and stay with a company, compared to 42% of Gen Y.

About one-third (34%) of millennials cited development opportunities as their biggest motivator, compared to 30% of Gen Y. Having a good boss (7%) and working for a fast-growing company (6%) scored very low among motivating factors for both generations.

Both groups of employees said technology is the main distraction in the workplace. Gen Y cited email (31%) and millennials said instant messaging chats (37%) distract them from work.

Despite the prevalence of technology, both demographics value face-to-face interaction with management over communicating via email or IM.

The majority of both millennials (51%) and Gen Y (52%) said this is their preferred method. Only 18% of Gen Y and 16% of millennials prefer talking over email.

Millennial Branding founder Dan Schawbel told HR magazine "human instinct" means physical interaction is still more valuable that any other form of communication in the workplace.

"It doesn't mean they're doing this all the time, but it's definitely not going away," he added.

Randstad North America chief HR officer Jim Link highlighted increasingly integrated generations as a challenge for employers.

"Generations are separated along narrower age bands, requiring managers to juggle the needs and preferences of four or even five distinct generations working side by side,” he said.

“This study provides an insightful picture of what employers can use to motivate and inspire this newest generation as part of their overall recruitment and retention strategy.”