Have you ever noticed how your teams are a blend of different ages and motivations? Such diverse groups seem like they would be impossible to lead. That’s why bestselling authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton in their new book The Best Team Wins say it’s important for you to understand the difference in motivations between older and younger generations.

As it turns out, there isn’t much difference.

Across all generations, Gostick and Elton found the top two work motivators turned out to be “making an impact” and “learning”, while factors like “prestige” and “money” were among the least motivating. In fact, the only major difference between older generations and millennials turned out to be that millennials were more vocal about their desire to have an impact and learn on the job.

Since learning and impact are the keys to motivating your diverse teams, let’s break down what those terms mean. Impact is the need to know your work is important and make a positive difference in the world, while learning is your desire to keep developing your talents and knowledge.

According to Gostick and Elton, you can use these factors to motivate your teams in four different ways.

1. Adopt simple rituals of recognition

While millennials have been accused of needing “too much” recognition, the fact is that everyone wants to be recognized for the impact they have at work. Gostick and Elton suggest you recognize employees not only for their successes, but also for their good attempts in order to show employees that success doesn’t always come at once, but sometimes takes many small steps.

Likewise, you should recognize your employees’ efforts often. Don’t wait until the end of the month—or the annual review—to praise good work. Praise people right after something good happens, such as receiving great customer feedback or obtaining a new client.

And when you do praise someone, make sure your praise is specific to the key values of your organization. As the adage goes, you get what you reward. For example, if you want people to increase their innovation or customer care skills, then make sure they are being recognized for great customer service or good innovative ideas.

2. Institute transparency about collective team challenges

Transparency is key to today’s workplace. In order to know that your work is having an impact, you want to know what the team problems are, what everyone’s role is, and how your teamwork fits into the larger business plan. This will also enable everyone to help each other become better and for the team to be more effective.

Gostick and Elton suggest you ask yourself these questions to understand how transparent you are being with your workers.

  • Do we have a very clear way to post our team goals and current performance levels for all to see?
  • Do my employees have a say in setting goals that are important in their jobs?
  • What avenues do my team members have to voice their ideas and concerns?

3. Foster directly relevant learning and career development

We all want to become better at our work and further our careers. This is why learning is one of the key motivators for all generations.

Gostick and Elton explain that learning work skills happens in three ways: on the job, through mentors, and classes.

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, this follows the 70-20-10 rule: 70% of our learning comes from our hands-on experience, 20% comes through coaching, mentorship, and collaboration, and that last 10% comes from taking formal courses.

So when you encourage learning job skills, it’s important to give your employees opportunities for hands-on experience and pair them with mentors and collaborators for feedback and guidance.

4. Clearly articulate to the team the meaning of their work

Finally, we all want to know that our work is meaningful. This goes to the primary desire of most employees to have an impact. When employees have a clear and compelling “why” for their actions they are more engaged in their work.

Gostick and Elton suggest that all teams come up with the purpose of their work. They suggest asking questions like:

  • Why do we exist as a team?
  • What job do we do for customers?
  • What gets you excited to come here every day?

They suggest that teams work on the answers independently first and then come together to weave the ideas into a compelling manifesto.

By following these four methods, you should be able to create more highly motivated teams than before. But to really motivate your teams, check out the rest of their book.