Remember when all the employee recognition anyone needed at work was a steady paycheck, an occasional nod from the boss, and maybe the prospect of a year-end bonus? When companies would throw big summer picnics and fancy family-orientated Holiday parties, complete with gifts for the kids handed out by Santa?
Well, those days are long gone. Today's millennial workers show up on the job expecting to be wowed by over-the-top employee recognition events, programs, and experiences. The under-40 workforce are skilled, diverse, and ambitious but they're also demanding, unconventional, and can be quite a handful for HR managers.
Unlike previous generations, monetary bonuses and financial incentives simply don't hold as much weight with this new wave of job seekers. That's not to say that they don't like their money but millennial workers as a whole tend to view straightforward cash incentives as impersonal, fleeting, and even downright insulting. That's one of the reasons we created AttaCoin tokens - we knew employees were hungering for personally meaningful gestures.
So, what's the best way to motivate, engage, and inspire these highly skilled, non-traditional millennial workers? While there's no single one-size-fits-all formula, a great place to start is with an epic employee recognition event - an event that's so on-target, it becomes the stuff of legends at your workplace.
Here are five key ingredients you need to include in your next employee recognition event.
Include Employees in the Planning Stage:
If you want to throw an employee recognition event that doesn't fall flat, start by engaging everyone in the planning process - that means having a quick brainstorming session around event locations, dates, and activities.
Remember that millennial employees value inclusiveness; they want to have a say in the employee recognition ideas that will be used, so by creating an open, transparent process when planning employee recognition events, you'll help to increase interest and investment by everyone on your team.
Set Event Goals:
When planning an employee recognition event, it's important to have a clear set of goals in mind - what exactly are you hoping to achieve by throwing a party, hosting an off-site outing, or handing out a bunch of 'thank-you' awards?
Do you want your event to focus on individual achievements, or celebrate the progress of an entire work group or team? Whether your goal is to improve employee engagement, provide motivation heading into your busy season, or say thanks for a job well done, by defining your employee recognition ideas up-front you'll avoid any awkward moments during the event that can pop up as a result of poor planning.
Make it Personal:
Another notable characteristic of millennial workers is their need for personal recognition - these folks don't want another gift card to yet another chain restaurant, a polo shirt with your corporate logo, or a company-branded coffee mug. They want awards that reflect who they are, what's important to them, and their personal accomplishments. Look for employee recognition ideas that allow for self expression.
Make it Memorable:
The whole point of throwing a full-blown employee recognition event is to create a memorable, inspiring event, right? Make sure that you go above and beyond what's considered 'ordinary' at your workplace. For example, if paid lunches are the norm at your office, including a great catered lunch during your employee recognition event won't been seen as anything special.
Depending on your location and your workers, plan an event that is fun, upbeat and exciting - the kind of thing that folks will be happy to share on their social media feeds.
Although it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, when planning an employee recognition event try to find ways to thank everyone - even if they aren't the employee, or on the specific team, who's being awarded.
Why? Remember that Millennials are used to " having received awards and recognition just for showing up - whether placing first of last in a race, for example." This generation of workers grew up receiving ongoing, positive feedback, so it's a good idea to include everyone when handing out employee recognition awards.
One easy and cost-effective way to make everyone feel included is with our AttaCoin Tokens - these are a corporate version of the traditional military "challenge coin" and recognize important employee behaviors. For an even more meaningful tribute, you can make these coins into desktop display pieces with accessories and cases.
Do millennial workers pose a challenge when it comes to creating the perfect employee recognition event? Absolutely - but by understanding this group, you can pull off a memorable, engaging and effective event that inspires, motivates and supports all of your employees!
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