Millennials have gotten a bad rap over the years. Those born between ’77 and 2000 have been labeled as entitled. But now that they are growing older, they are moving into leadership and managerial roles. Presently, millennials make up the most significant percentage of the workforce. It’s not that they are unmotivated; it’s just that millennials are motivated by different things when you compare them to employees from other generations. These differences are significant. Here are six elements that are beneficial for motivating millennials but may apply to your recognition strategy for employees in older generations too.
6 Millennial Motivators for Your Recognition Strategy
1. Millennial Employees Prefer Purpose over Pay
Fair compensation is a critical component of a job, but it’s not always the bigger salaries or fancy job titles that attract the best employees. Millennials want more than just a transaction when it comes to the employer-employee relationship. Impactful, effective recognition and reward strategies connect your employees to the work culture. They build on the company’s purpose, mission, and values. Recognition should help connect employees to the values making your company culture unique.
2. Motivate Millennials by Transparency
Transparency in a company provides employees with a sense of ownership. The workplace has evolved from the corner or closed offices to workspaces that are more communal. Employees have also evolved in ways that make it easier to increase collaboration and transparency. If a recognition program requires too much red tape or is overloaded with rules employees will fail to see its importance. It may seem to them to be untrustworthy, inconsistent, or irrelevant. Choosing a recognition program that provides transparency around the particulars such as who is getting rewarded, when, and why. This will improve participation and build a better experience.
3. The Crave for Frequent Feedback
Thanks to the internet, millennials have become used to a culture of hyper-feedback. Regular feedback is exchanged in real-time, meaning it is expected as well as given. You may still plan annual and quarterly awards, but you may want to consider adding some other elements. Impactful and effective recognition programs have an always-on element allowing for in-the-moment honest feedback. Consider designing a modern awards program that includes recognition and frequent two-way communication. It’s a great way to develop a more engaged workforce. Peer-to-peer social recognition provides more leverage than top-down programs. You also hand employees ownership.
4. Social Media is a Necessary Normal
Today’s generation of employees has grown up with social media. They use it every day, and it’s a huge part of building and sustaining connections. Employers who can leverage social media can be one step ahead of the game. Add a social component to your employee recognition program by using online resources such as an online recognition wall. This allows an interactive element and encourages colleagues and peers to comment on recognition and eCards. Use leaderboards, blogs, videos, basically anything that will enable and encourage communication and connection. Using social media increases engagement at work and increases job satisfaction. Employees who engage online with coworkers tend to be more creative, innovative, and motivated. Adding a digital space gives your employees another opportunity to connect.
5. Support Flexible Work
Today’s employee desires roles that allow them to achieve a better work-life balance, better personal well-being, and more flexibility. Providing flexible working arrangements blurs the line between a person’s work life and their personal life. They set their own parameters and get accustomed to being “always on.” What does that mean for recognition and reward? It means the focus isn’t on tenure or who spends the longest hours at work whether that is in the warehouse, shop floor, or office. Instead, it means being able to recognize people based on their contribution or impact. Shifting to a flexible workspace may mean improving or upgrading technology to enable remote and flexible working arrangements.
6. Millennials Desire Professional and Physical Mobility
Employees today want more opportunities to work in various physical locations as well as work in different roles during their careers with a company. A recognition program now needs to connect to a geographically dispersed workforce. But equally important is how it can provide insight into which individuals and teams are collaborating, innovating, and improving daily.
Successful Motivators for Millennials
Instead of thinking you don’t know how to connect with millennials and dismissing recognition efforts, find what engages and motivates them. Then, align your reward and recognition strategies to create a competitive and attractive culture. As the world is transitioning back into more normal routines following the pandemic, it’s a great time to let your creative juices flow and intentionally design a new employee recognition strategy.
Let Suburban Custom Awards Help!
We’ve been doing this for a long time! If you need help designing awards and rewards for your recognition program, give us a call! We’ll be happy to help you design trophies or plaques to reflect your company culture. Have1. trouble with wording? Let us help you with that too! Call us today and let us help you reward your brightest and best millennials!