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How Can Incentive Travel Motivate Generation X?

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In our ongoing series of articles on incentive group travel and the generation mix, we’re attempting to shed light on how each generation finds value and motivation in travel incentives. Insights on generational differences can hopefully help leaders and corporate incentive travel planners—who must deal with managing diverse age groups—understand how each generation views corporate and incentive travel. These pieces, which began last quarter with a Millennials article, help guide leaders in using travel incentives to inspire better performance and reach sales goals.
In this quarter’s article, we’ll discuss the quiet, oft-forgotten middle child of today’s workforce: Generation X.
Stereotypical Generation Xers are cynics and loners, slackers in flannel who love apathetic alternative rock. Even the title of their age group—Generation X—suggests something negative, crossed out or rejected. According to an Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) study on generations in the workplace, “Xers weren’t told they could do or be anything they wanted, at least to the extent Boomers and Millennials were. They saw their parents less because, in many cases, their parents were hard-charging Boomers working long hours to make a difference and get ahead.”
These things seem to cast the common Gen Xer in a grim light, but disillusionment taught many from this generation to be resourceful, greatly valuing skill and personal success over corporate platitudes and office politics. An Ebscohost release describes Generation X’s high points as being “self-reliant, resourceful, and comfortable on their own. In the workplace, Gen Xers are independent, technologically savvy, and strong multi-taskers.”
It’s easy to understand why communicative and culturally aware generations like Millennials and Baby Boomers would be extremely motivated by incentive travel. But what angle should you use to get Generation X fired up about travel incentives? Here are a few ideas:

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How Can Incentive Travel Motivate Generation X?

  1. 1. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here How Can Incentive Travel Motivate Generation X?
  2. 2. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title styleIn our ongoing series of slideshares on incentive group travel and the generation mix, we’re attempting to shed light on how each generation can find value and motivation in travel incentives. Insights on generational differences can hopefully help sales leaders and event planners—who must deal with managing diverse age groups—understand how each generation views travel rewards and corporate events. These slideshares help guide leaders in using travel incentives to inspire better performance and reach sales goals. In this quarter’s article, we’ll discuss the quiet, oft-forgotten middle child of today’s workforce: Generation X. INTRODUCTION
  3. 3. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title styleMost descriptions of Gen Xers cast them as jaded and forgotten, but this disillusionment taught many from this generation to be resourceful, greatly valuing skill and personal success over corporate platitudes and office politics. An Ebscohost release describes Generation X’s high points as: • self-reliance • resourcefulness • Independence • technology savviness • strong multi-tasking GENERATION X Xers weren’t told they could do or be anything they wanted, at least to the extent Boomers and Millennials were. They saw their parents less because, in many cases, their parents were hard- charging Boomers working long hours to make a difference and get ahead. —The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) “ ”
  4. 4. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title style It’s easy to understand why communicative and culturally aware generations like Millennials and Baby Boomers would be extremely motivated by incentive travel opportunities. But what angle should you use to get Generation X fired up about travel incentives? Here are a few ideas: GENERATION X & INCENTIVE TRAVEL
  5. 5. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title style Today’s consumer-conscious customers expect the following: TEAM INCENTIVE PLANS Gen X workers are often cynical about mingling with colleagues and getting too wrapped up in the corporate world. Corporate events and group travel opportunities can help Gen Xers break out of their “lone wolf” approach to work. A group travel incentive trip can offer Gen Xers: • meaningful interaction • team building experiences with colleagues • escape from being immersed in corporate routines • stronger bonds with their peers • seeing coworkers as partners in success, not just “corporate drones” Likely more than any other generation, Gen Xers want to get to know their co-workers on their own terms, not as part of their business obligations. This is why incentive group travel and team building corporate events can open up so many possibilities for growth in their roles.
  6. 6. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title style Today’s consumer-conscious customers expect the following: SKILL-SET DEVELOPMENT ON INCENTIVE TRIPS Gen Xers are less likely than other generations to be impressed with titles, certificates or public tenure recognition at the next company meeting. What Gen Xers care about are opportunities to expand their abilities set on their own and develop meaningful new skills. This means that Gen Xers can be greatly motivated by incentive travel opportunities and corporate events in which they can: • learn from successful public speakers • take work education courses • attend insightful seminars or conferences • develop hands-on experience • add skills and competences to their resumes Xers were the first generation to understand that their fate is in their own hands—that employers cannot be trusted or counted on. Many experts agree that Xers…value highly their own sense of mastery and competency. —IRF “ ”
  7. 7. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title style Today’s consumer-conscious customers expect the following: REWARDS AND RECOGNITION FOR ACHIEVEMENTS • Like Millennials, Gen Xers are prone to feeling insecure about their jobs, which leads to a lack of company loyalty and trust. Perhaps more than any other generation, it is important to invest in Generation X employees and business affiliates to show them that their skills are vital in your organization. • An incentive trip is a very public, very memorable demonstration that you are willing to spend time and resources on your highest achievers. When a top-performing Gen X salesperson earns a spot on an incentive travel trip to Hawaii, for instance, they’re much less likely to feel that their efforts and talents go wasted and unnoticed. [Gen X] were hit hardest by the recession, losing half of their wealth from 2007 to 2010. —BUSINESS INSIDER
  8. 8. TITLE GOES HERE Subtitle Here Click to edit Master title styleAs Generation X ages into positions of seniority and leadership, it’s important to motivate and retain them. They often work quietly and without a lot of fanfare, so that you may not even realize how much your company will suffer from the loss of their knowledge and skill if they leave. Make sure you’re not focusing your incentive travel promotion efforts only on the preferences of the larger generational groups, Millennials and Baby Boomers. Generation Xers can be incredibly motivated by travel incentives, too, if you present them in ways that encourage: CONCLUSION • A team-building opportunity • Skill-set development • Increased company loyalty

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