Corporate Rewards and Recognition Programs for Millennials

Date: February 12, 2018

Implementing a corporate rewards program is a simple way to show your employees that you value them. For the ever-growing Millennial workforce, selecting a rewards program that matches their interests and needs can be the difference between retaining top talent -- or losing it to a company that does.

They're Disrupting the Workforce

Millennials may be the most widely studied generation in history. Yet despite all the research conducted about them, workplaces are still trying to understand what motivates Millennials so they can set up corporate rewards programs that retain and attract top talent. According to a report by the Brookings Institution, “How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America,” by 2020 Millennials will comprise more than 1 of every 3 adult Americans. And they will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. That's why it's never been more important to figure out the ever-elusive Millennial generation.

corporate rewards program
Millennials will soon account for 3 out of 4 Americans in the workforce. Knowing how to attract and retain them will be essential for business success.



This Is Not Their Parents' Workplace

To select the right corporate rewards program for retaining Millennials, let’s turn to what we already know about them. Research shows that Millennials are unlike any previous generation before them when it comes to what they want and expect out of the workplace. They put more emphasis on corporate social responsibility, have a high respect for the environment, and place higher worth on acquiring experiences over gaining things.

"Those companies that dedicate their future to changing the world for the better and find ways to make it happen, will be rewarded with the loyalty of Millennials as customers, workers and investors for decades to come. Those that choose to hang on to outdated cultures and misplaced priorities are likely to lose the loyalties of the Millennial generation and with it their economic relevance," the Brookings report concluded.

These experiences serve as the foundation for creating a corporate rewards program that will keep Millennials motivated and happy at your company.

A Successful Corporate Rewards Program Should Achieve These 6 Benchmarks:

  1. Improve employee retention. According to SHRM, estimates for the cost of employee turnover equal 6 to 9 months’ salary per employee on average. If an employee makes $80,000 a year, that’s $40,000 to $60,000 in recruiting and training expenses. If you can reduce turnover rates through your corporate rewards program, you are doing your job well. Almost 4 of every 10 Millennials -- that's 38% -- say that they plan to leave their job within the next two years. But you can combat those numbers by recognizing and rewarding employees.
  2. Motivate employees. To create a corporate rewards program that motivates your employees, you have to give them what they want. Millennials value a strong work-life balance. They enjoy traveling, dining, and having free time to pursue their passions and hang out with friends. Gift cards simply don’t motivate Millennials. Instead, focus on rewarding employees with experiences instead of material possessions to boost employee engagement.
  3. Create a happy workforce. Studies have shown that employees are 12% more productive when happy. That is a significant percentage. An easy way to create a happy workforce is by simply recognizing good work. Manager-to-employee recognition as well as peer-to-peer recognition create happier, healthier work environments. By implementing a corporate rewards program, you are creating a healthy and happy work environment. You're demonstrating that you care about the people who make your company so amazing.
  4. Reflect your company culture. Millennials want to work for companies with a strong company culture. Make sure your corporate rewards program fits with who you are as a company. If you value work-life balance, find a rewards program that focuses on experiences your employees can have outside of work with their family or friends. Make your rewards program work for you.
  5. Get used. On average, only 25% of employees actually use corporate rewards and recognition programs. However, companies that use Bucketlist’s software have a 76% employee usage rate. Because Bucketlist integrates with Slack, employees are much more likely to hand out recognition to each other for good work.
  6. Attract top talent. This last topic reflects the five points that precede it. Top talent is attracted to successful and happy workplaces. Those workplaces are created through a strong company culture where employees feel valued. Employees feel valued when they are recognized and believe that their company has their best interest in mind.
Millennials value experiences over money. Successful corporate rewards programs reflect those needs and expectations

Corporate Rewards for Millennials with Life Experiences

Think through these 6 steps when implementing your corporate rewards program at your company. As Millennials take hold of the workforce, you’ll want to select a rewards program that resonates with them. And overall, find a rewards program that will make your employees happy to come in to work.

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