Why Millennials & Baby Boomers Differ in Recognition & Rewards

We've discussed how Millennials will change the recognition scene, now let's take a look at why.

According to research from Inspiring Talent, a global survey of employee attitudes based on responses from more than 4,000 employees in 14 countries, Millennial workers are much less likely than Baby Boomers to believe that working harder and taking more responsibility will get them recognized and rewarded by an organization. Human Resource Executive Online recently posted an article online that nicely highlighted the findings of this research.

The research found that 38% of older workers (ages 56 to 60) believe they will be recognized and rewarded if they work harder or take extra responsibility. Only 19% of Millennial workers (ages 18 to 25) feel the same way.

This statisitic alone shows us there is a huge generational gap in the mindset of today's workforce when it comes to recognition and rewards. Realizing this is the first step toward effective incentive programs in the workforce. The research shows that Millenials believe they will be rewarded for results, not for how much time they spent on a task or what they did to produce those results.

Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and director of professional oppotunities at DePauw University states that Millennials are motivated by the process of work, more than just completing the assignment.

Baby Boomers tend to have loyalty to a particular company or organization and feel as though their employers should reciprocate their loyalty by rewarding their achievements and providing job stability. Millennials expect more immediate rewards and are more inclined to move when they don't get what they want.

To accomodate the generation gap, employers should be flexible when creating their recognition programs and realize that one-size-fits-all will not be as effective as a tailored approach.

What do you think? Can you spot the differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers in your workplace? Do you agree with these findings?

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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)?

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