2022 1 (42) 12

Differentiation of Personnel Motivation in the Context of Generational Theory

Zhmai O. V.
Senior Lecturer
ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5276-3462
e-mail: za@onu.edu.ua,
Mozghalova M. Yu. 
e-mail: mashamozgaleva@gmail.com,
Odesa National University named after I. I. Mechnikov

Citation Format
Zhmai, O. V., Mozghalova, M. Yu. (2022). Differentiation of Personnel Motivation in the Context of Generational Theory. Visnyk ekonomichnoi nauky Ukrainy, 1 (42), рр. 94-100. DOI: https://doi.org/10.37405/1729-7206.2022.1(42).94-100


Since each generation has a value to offer organizations, the emergence of new ones is thoroughly scrutinized in order to have better understanding who to be dealing with as younger employees, representatives of new generation, exit university and enter the workforce. Building a team from different generations can be a distinctive valuable human resource sand benefit from over six decades of perspectives, experience and insights.
However, in order to use this potential in a proper manner managers need to know some features that distinguish members of different generations. Members of each generation possess a particular set of values, attitudes and behaviors to the workplace. It is worth noting that the multigenerational workforce requires flexible leadership, policies and approaches of motivation.
The main task in our days is the selection and motivation of personnel, determining the main directions of its improvement, which allows managers to attract, manage personnel, as well as achieve the goals of the organization and a positive economic result. Meanwhile, generational gap often causes conflicts between employees. Managers should be aware of and take into account the differences between generations when performing their functions. Hence, recommendations for the transformation of HR processes need to be systematized, taking into account the values, interests and needs of three generations that currently prevail in the Ukrainian labor market and a completely new generation of Alpha, which is just beginning to form. Motivated employees whose personal goals coincide with the goals of the enterprise supposed to work more effectively, which will lead to increasing of the profitability of the enterprise.
As a result of the analysis of the main values and characteristics of four generations, recommendations for improving the socio-economic efficiency of personnel activities were formulated with the allocation of groups of employees according to the criterion of belonging to a certain generation, their features and main approaches to personnel management and motivation were highlighted. The theory of generations allows us to form an effective strategy for managing the human capital of an organization, which will take into account the mindset and behavior of representatives of different age groups. The high demand for talent forces modern companies to actively fight for human capital. To win it, it is necessary to offer the best conditions for representatives of each generation. Effective use of the aspects of generational theory allows managers to ensure a high level of communication between employees and more effectively predict their behavior.

theory of generations; HR; Generation X; generation Y; generation Z; Alpha generation; values; motivation; management methods; management.


  1. Denysenko, M. P., Davydenko, N. V. (2020). Teoriia pokolin ta yakyi yii vplyv na suchasnyi biznes [Generation theory and its impact on modern business]. Ekonomika ta derzhava, № 1, рр. 46-49. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32702/2306-6806.2020.1.46 [in Ukrainian].
  2. Zhmay, A. V., Vashkovskaya, M. S. (2020). Osobennosti obucheniya i upravleniya sotrudnikami pokoleniya Alfa [Features of training and management of employees of the Alpha generation]. Instytutsiini peretvorennia ta rehuliuvannia sotsialno-ekonomichnykh protsesiv v umovakh mizhnarodnoi intehratsii [Institutional transformations and regulation of socio-economic processes in the conditions of international integration]: Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference. (рр. 89-92). Odesa, OFFSJeTiK [in Russian].
  3. Zhmai, O. V., Mozghalova, M. Yu. (2021). Pidkhody do motyvatsii personalu z urakhuvanniam teorii pokolin [Approaches to staff motivation taking into account the theory of generations]. Tendentsii ta perspektyvy rozvytku menedzhmentu v umovakh hlobalnykh vyklykiv [Trends and prospects of management development in conditions of global challenges]: Proceedings of the І International Scientific and Practical Conference. (рр. 130-132). Kherson, V.S. Vyshemirskyi Book Publishing House [in Ukrainian].
  4. Zhmaі, A. V., Yakimova, I. A. (2020). Rol’ korporativnoy kul’tury v privlechenii i uderzhanii sotrudnikov pokoleniya Z [The role of corporate culture in attracting and retaining employees of generation Z]. Instytutsiini peretvorennia ta rehuliuvannia sotsialno-ekonomichnykh protsesiv v umovakh mizhnarodnoi intehratsii [Institutional transformations and regulation of socio-economic processes in the conditions of international integration]: Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference. (рр. 29-32). Odesa, OFFSJeTiK [in Russian].
  5. Kaschuk, K. M. (2018), Osoblyvosti upravlinnia spivrobitnykamy X, Y ta Z pokolin [Peculiarities of management of spivrobitnik X, Y and Z generations]. Ekonomika. Upravlinnia. Innovatsii – Economy. Management. Innovations, Vol. 1(22). Retrieved from http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/eui_2018_1_9 [in Ukrainian].
  6. Koval, N. V., Byba, V. A. (2020). Vykorystannia teorii pokolin v menedzhmenti personalu [The use of generational theory in personnel management]. Efektyvna ekonomika, 10. Retrieved from: http://www.economy.nayka.com.ua/?op=1&z=8262 [in Ukrainian].
  7. Liutak, O. Z. (2019). Zastosuvannia teorii pokolin u konsultuvanni personalu orhanizatsii [The application of the theory of generations in consulting the personnel of the organization]. Zbirnyk naukovykh prats: psykholohiia – Collection of scientific works: psychology, Vol. 23, pp. 94-101. Ivano-Frankivsk, Prykarpattia National University named after V. Stefanyka” [in Ukrainian].
  8. Markasian, P. (2018). Osoblyvosti motyvatsii spivrobitnykiv pokolinnia Z [Features of motivation of employees of generation Z]. Talent Management. Retrieved from https://www.talent-management.com.ua/5562-osobennosti-motivatsii-sotrudnikov-pokoleniya-z/ [in Ukrainian].
  9. Raznitsa pokoleniy: kakie oni — Generation Z i idushchie sledom «alfy»? [The difference of generations: what are they – Generation Z and the following “alphas”?]. Retrieved from https://trends.rbc.ru/trends/futurology/5dfcabbf9a7947a532b7f9a5 [in Russian].
  10. Stillman, D. and Stillman, I. (2018), Pokolenie Z na rabote. Kak ego ponjat’ i najti s nim obshhij jazyk [Generation Z at work. How to understand them and speak a common tongue]. Moscow, Mann, Ivanov i Ferber [in Russian].
  11. Teoriia pokolin ta ukrainskyi rynok pratsi [Theory of generations and the Ukrainian labor market]. Retrieved from http://pravocontract.com.ua/archives/351 [in Ukrainian].
  12. Tokarev, N. Kak motivirovat bumerov, zumerov i ostalnykh [How to motivate boomers, zoomers and others]. Mind.ua. Retrieved from https://mind.ua/ru/openmind/20232307-novaya-realnost-kak-motivirovat-bumerov-zumerov-i-ostalnyh [in Russian].
  13. Tulgan, B. (2017). Ne vsem dostanetsja priz: kak upravljat’ pokoleniem [Not everyone gets a prize: how to manage Generation Y]. Moscow, Mann, Ivanov i Ferber [in Russian].
  14. Chto luchshe vsego motiviruet sotrudnikov, prinadlezhashchikh k raznym pokoleniyam [What is the best motivator for multi-generational employees?]. Retrieved from https://www.wrike.com/ru/blog/chto-luchshe-vsego-motiviruetsotrudnikov-prinadlezhashhih-k-raznym-pokoleniyam/ [in Russian].
  15. Shchetinina, L. V., Rudakova, S. H., Danyliak, M. I. (2017). Upravlinnia personalom z urakhuvanniam polozhen teorii pokolin [Human resources management based on generation theory]. Problemy ekonomiky – Problems of the economy, Vol. 1, pp. 277-283 [in Ukrainian].
  16. Yudina, N. V. (2017). Teoriia pokolin v umovakh informatsiinoho suspilstva [Generation theory in information society], Suchasni trendy povedinky spozhyvachiv tovariv i posluh [Current behaviour trends among consumers of goods and services]. Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference. (pp. 115-117). Rivne, Rivne State Humanitarian University [in Ukrainian].
  17. 2017 Cone Gen Z CSR Study: How to Speak Z. (2017). Cone. Retrieved from https://www.conecomm.com/2017-cone-gen-z-csr-study-pdf.
  18. Adkins, Amy, and Brandon Rigoni. Millennials want jobs to be development opportunities. Gallop Business Journal. Retrieved from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236438/millennials-jobs-development-opportunities.aspx.
  19. Alexander Agati, Holly. The Millennial generation: Howe and Strauss disputed. (2012). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539618810. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25774/w4-gjnp-xz92.
  20. Generation Z 2025: The Final Generation. sparks & honey. Retrieved from https://www.sparksandhoney.com/reports-list/2018/10/5/generation-z-2025-the-final-generation.
  21. Generations in the Workforce & Marketplace: Preferences in Rewards, Recognition & Incentives. (2015). Incentive Research Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.viktorwithak.com/PDFs/03-generations-in-the-workforce.pdf.
  22. Karl Mannheim. The Problem of Generations. Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge. London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1928/1952: pp. 276–320.
  23. Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. (2018). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/.
  24. PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study. (2013). PwC. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/hr-management-services/pdf/pwc-nextgen-study-2013.pdf.
  25. Steven Jiang. The ABCs Of Generations X, Y And Z. Forbes Human Resources. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2019/04/02/the-abcs-of-generations-x-y-and-z/?sh=5aa1192e672b.
  26. Strauss, W. and Howe, N. (1993). 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail? New York, Vintage Books.
  27. Strauss, W. and Howe, N. (1991). Generations: The History of America’s Future. 1584 to 2069. New York, WILLIAM MORROW AND COMPANY, INC.
  28. Strauss, W. and Howe, N. (2000). Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. New York, Vintage Books.
  29. Strauss, W. and Howe, N. (1997). The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny. New York, Broadway Books.
  30. The Millennial Study: Research About Millennials Values & Lifestyles. Qualtrics. Retrieved from https://www.qualtrics.com/millennials/.

Full Text (.pdf)