Date
23 March 2017
The best way to motivate young workers is not financial reward, but helping them find 'meaning' in the work, says a youth counselor. Photo: HKEJ
The best way to motivate young workers is not financial reward, but helping them find 'meaning' in the work, says a youth counselor. Photo: HKEJ

What the 90s kids want from their jobs

The new-generation workers who were born in the 90s are often accused of being irresponsible, lacking in self-discipline and putting in only half-hearted efforts in their jobs.

While the elders have many complaints, some of the criticism is off the mark, notes writer and youth counselor Ng Wing-kwong.

Looking at things from the youngsters’ perspective, Ng shares some insights on what motivates the current crop of entrants to the workforce.

As most kids born in the 90s come from financially stable families, money is not their top concern, points out Ng.

The youngsters are willing to take up lower-paying jobs if the work offers some “meaning”, Ng says.

The “meaning” varies with individuals. For some, it may be an opportunity to travel overseas and see the world, while for some it may be freedom to voice their opinions or bring change to society.

To them, work is not just about making a living. To motivate the young lads, focusing on financial reward may not work.

Mere instructions are not good enough, Ng says, stressing that the new generation needs to be given space to try things on their own.

“Show them how it should be done. Let them learn from trial and error and allow more room for mistakes.”

Youngsters nowadays also tend to care a lot more about the “impact” of their work.

To earn their trust and respect, bosses would need to show them how the work is contributing to the company and how the workers are influencing the outcome.

While experience and wisdom come with age, Ng wants people to also bear in mind that the younger workers know many things that the older generations don’t.

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RC

EJ Insight writer

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