Generational diversity and motivation in the Irish workforce what are the factors that influence how Irish employees (in Dublin) from different generations are motivated to maintain high levels of work performance?

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Abdullatif, Noaman
Issue Date
MSc in Management Practice
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this study was to explore the various factors that influence motivation of the different generations of the Irish workforce. In this regards, the researcher sought to meet four research objectives: (i) to find out the motivational factors that influence Irish employees’ high levels of work performance; (ii) to investigate how motivation and motivational factors varied based on the generational cohorts of the respondents; and (iii) to determine the relationship between age, gender, and work motivation. The study also sought to recommend appropriate ways through which the Irish workforce can be motivated based on the findings made. For these research objectives to be adequately met, a quantitative study was conducted where the descriptive quantitative research design was adopted. The intended data were collected through survey questionnaires from a sample of 81 participants (Irish workers), who were selected using the stratified random sampling technique. Generally, it emerged that the main factors that influence the Irish workforce’s level of motivation include: competitive remuneration, recognition and appreciation, strong relationship with the management and co-workers, work-life balance, job security, enabling work environment, and autonomy. With respect to the second research objective, major differences between the identified motivational factors for the three generations were identified. In this case, significant differences between groups were noted where Millennials/ generation Y and Baby Boomers were found to be more motivated, while generation X was neutral. This implies that generation X was found to be less motivated compared to the other two generations. Finally, varying results were found with respect to the correlation between age, gender, and work motivation. Generally, it emerged that there is a positive correlation between motivation and age, whereby the level of motivation reduces as the age increases. However, the study found no significant relationship between gender and the motivation of the Irish workforce. Author keywords: Motivation, motivational factors, Irish workforce, generational differences