Motivate This: How Will Gen Y Change the Recognition Scene?

Generation Y. Millenials. Young whipper-snappers. Call them what you will but this generation is creeping into the workforce while trying to change the way we work. If our workplaces start evolving, shouldn't recognition programs follow suit? This article found here  talks about how recognition programs should be kept current. Let's take a brief look at how the workforce's next generation will change how we work and what it may take to motivate them.

The latest Kiplinger report talks almost exclusively about Generation Y and what to expect down the road. As a whole, this generation will have a greater percentage of college educated workers, more culturally aware due to study abroad opportunities, and most importantly - more technological savvy. They've grown up using computers, internet and adapt much quicker to shifts in technological advances. They expect to be able to leverage technology in their work in ways to make their work better and more efficient. However, this reliance on technology for communication has potential to result in a lack of conventional, face-to-face communication skills. 

What attitudes do they bring to the table. First off, according to Kiplinger, Gen Yers expect work to be meaningful and fun. They will not stick with a job for the sole purpose of earning a paycheck and over 67% of those workers expect to change employers at some point in their lives. In addition, time is a more valuable commodity to Millenials than base salary. Some younger workers are willing to take a job offering less pay if it gives more flexible scheduling options such as telecommuting or compressed work weeks. 

Knowing what we know about the attitudes and needs of the up and coming generation of employees, how will recognition programs shift?  Since enterprises that are involved in socially responsible activities are more attractive to Gen Yers, maybe companies will provide incentives for workers who give back to the community in addition to rewarding hard work. Another option may include rewarding based on teambuilding efforts, since most Millenials have grown up learning to work cooperatively in groups. 

Those are just a couple of ideas. Now the ball is in your court.

What changes do you all see for incentive programs to keep this younger generation engaged at work?

How will Generation Y shift the incentive industry as a whole (if at all)?