- Employers are missing the boat on the recognition and reward programs for millennial employees, according to a new study from Aon Hewitt and O.C. Tanner.
- The survey, which studied more than 470 employers across five countries, found that one in four employers report their current recognition programs are ineffective for millennial workers — the youngest generation in the workforce.
- A separate Aon Hewitt report shows millennial workers agree that their employer’s recognition programs are unsatisfying. Nearly two in five millennials (38%) would like to see the recognition program at their current employer improved.
The survey found that organizations with effective programs for millennials offer three key rewards vehicles: handwritten notes, experiential rewards (e.g., event tickets) and "thank yous" from peers, managers or next-level managers or senior executives.
Neil Shastri, leader of Global Insights & Innovation at Aon Hewitt, explains that millennials have a greater need to be recognized and want to be in front of management much sooner than previous generations. To them, Shastri adds, being recognized and thanked by leaders in a meaningful way and on a frequent basis not only gives millennial workers a rewarding experience, but also strengthens their personal connection to the organization and encourages them to continue to be key contributors.
Gary Beckstrand, vice president at O.C. Tanner, said millennials appreciate recognition that carries meaning and helps them feel empowered. This might explain why things like thank yous from peers and managers (53%) and public recognition from senior leadership (42%) were the top used vehicles across organizations at the broad level, according to the survey.