I have struggled many times in the past dealing with staff.

In particular, Gen Y.

Seth Goddin did a post on Getting vs Taking

Most people spend a lot of time to get an education.
They wait for the teacher (hopefully a great one) to give them something of value.

Many employees do the same thing at work. They wait for a boss (hopefully a great one) to give them responsibility or authority or experiences that add up to a career.

A few people, not many, but a few, take. They take the best education they can get, pushing teachers for more, finding things to do, exploring non-defined niches. They take more courses than the minimum, they invent new projects and they show up with questions.

A few people, not many, take opportunities at work

I think then the better questions to ask is:  (As your Manager) What do I need to ask for you to take?

Why wouldn’t you take?

What do you think?