This article was published in November, but it’s still timely and over the past few months I’ve read a lot of blog posts on the web that remind me of it. So even though I wrote it, I figure it might be a good idea to dredge it up again for a whole new set of readers who weren’t subscribing to the blog back then.
What motivates young people isn’t the promise of a distant retirement check thirty or forty years after they’ve given all they have to a company that doesn’t let them have a piece of the pie. The first thing you need to keep in mind is the fundamental idea of ownership.
You don’t have to give up stock in your company, to give a young worker a feeling that s(he) is contributing to themselves, as well as the firm’s bottom line. But you do need to invest in their sense of desire to contribute in meaningful ways to institutions that matter. To them, coming to work is an exercise in mutual benefit.