Managing Motivation | Navigating Generational Dynamics in the UAE Workforce Dr Matthew Mitchel

Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate to split time between serving my clients in the market and serving students in the classroom. As a professor, I welcome each successive generation of students and witness first-hand changes in how they learn, how they solve problems and how they work together in teams. This experience gives me a unique advantage when helping clients who are struggling to manage generational differences in the workplace. Some of the most productive engagements started out with executives asking… “Can you teach me how to tweet?”; or “How do I keep them after I have invested so much to teach them our business?!”

In recent years, firms have experienced a sharp increase in younger generations of employees. Given this “youth bulge,” Organizations are recognizing the importance of tailoring their managerial approaches to the needs of workers from different generations. In our second Research Brief of the year, Managing Motivation | Navigating Generational Dynamics in the UAE Workforce, we explore this challenge of managing and motivating multiple generations of workers simultaneously. While we have focused on the UAE specifically, we recognize that this issue is relevant to organizations across the GCC region and around the world.

As part of their strategy to motivate different generations of workers, companies should consider the following key recommendations that we summarize in the Executive Summary:

  • Take key generational differences into account, but focus more on appealing to the similar values and interests shared across generations.
  • Recognize that different motivational approaches might be needed to appeal to a multinational (as well as multigenerational) workforce of expatriates and GCC Nationals.
  • Employ a total reward approach that uses a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation tools to foster high levels of performance and organizational commitment.

The full brief with in-depth explanations and recommendations can be accessed via this link:

This new generation of workers are fast learners. But more importantly, the organizations that learn how to effectively manage and motivate these talented young workers will be most successful over the long term!

Dr. Matthew Mitchell

Founding Partner – Bâton Global

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