Are there generational differences in regards to what a person/patient would like in feedback and rewards?
GI Generation (1925-1945). In the GI generation, if you were pulled in the office of your boss, it was probably because you did something wrong. The GI generation believes that “No news is good news.” This is a generation that was brought up through wars. If you did not hear from someone at the warfront, that was a good thing. It meant they were alive. If information was sent to you through a telegram, it might be bad news. This is the generation that likes to hear that they have done a good job, but they are more intrinsically rewarded. If they have put in the time, they know they have done a good job.
Boomers (1946-1964). Boomers are looking for tangible rewards. A hallmark of a Boomer is having every diploma and CE certificate displayed on their wall. They want to be recognized when they have done something. They like verbal or written feedback, but they want it scheduled so they can tell when they are going to get their feedback.
Gen X (1965-1979). Gen-Xers think freedom is the best reward. They want flexibility and immediate formative feedback about their performance. It might be the person spontaneously asking you as you walk down the hall for feedback. If not good, how can I fix it? This generation has access to lots of information; therefore, they want the information when they ask for it.
Gen Y or Millennials (1980-1994). With Generation Y, work has to be personally meaningful. Feedback should be at their fingertips. I call this a drive-thru evaluation. I have had fieldwork students in Gen-Y and they say, “Why do we have to wait until mid-term? Why can't you tell me now?” They want the feedback when it is meaningful to them so they can make the appropriate behavior changes.