Modern workplaces have employees from all generations; ensuring that they stay motivated and dedicated is the key to running a successful business. A company-wide employee recognition program gives them the incentive to keep on performing to their best. While timely promotions, incentives, and verbal praise from the seniors are universal motivators, different generations have different responses.
Following are some of the reasons why generational differences matter in employee recognition and what you can do about it.
1. Choosing a Reward System
When you think of rewarding your employees, keeping in mind their age group and generation will help you better connect with them. The baby boomer generation, who mostly fall in the age group of the fifties to late sixties, appreciate something which gives them a chance to enhance their status. They prefer lumpsum cash benefit as they approach retirement or all medical expenses are taken care of by the company.
The millennials, born around the eighties and currently in their forties, would like free tickets to an NFL game or the home rent taken care of. They are more inclined towards immediate gratification of their needs rather than waiting for retirement benefits.
2. Better Management
When you know which kind of employee recognition works for which generation, you also have better workplace management. You have fewer or almost no disgruntled employees to deal with. The employees put in their best, and just in case a crisis strikes, they are ready to stand by the company which has so far looked after their wellbeing.
Suppose you can take generational differences into account and create a workplace well-suited for the entire team. In that case, it will result in happy and loyal employees, creating a reliable and dependable workforce for you.
3. Creating Leaders for Tomorrow
Every workplace has a ladder, and every employee dreams of climbing the rungs to the top. When multiple generations are working together, it creates an environment where the seniors pave the way for the juniors to take over one day.
However, this can only happen when an employee is retained long enough to eventually make their way to the top. And they will only choose to stay on if there is an employee recognition program that lauds them for every milestone they reach. It creates solidarity within the workforce, encourages the exchange of ideas, and seamless transitions when the time comes that does not affect the day-to-day work.
4. Expression of Trust and Appreciation
When you think of an employee recognition program, you have to think about which methods of expressing your trust and appreciation they will like the most.
The Generation X employees appreciate a timely promotion, but a party thrown in their honor will not affect them as much as an invitation into the boardroom. They feel they are most wanted by their companies when they are consulted on crucial decision-making matters. They like to feel they are in the inner circle.
The baby-boomer generation loves the security that comes with their jobs instead and does not like to be corrected much. They do not do well in dynamic situations, so only letting them do their jobs- which they do exceptionally well- is the best way of showing that you trust them.
5. Encourages Them To Be Creative
There is no denying the fact that a business has to evolve with changing times continually. An employee recognition program that gives your employees timely perks and benefits will instill in them the urge to think out of the box and come with something even better than their previous ideas.
It is more applicable to the younger lot of employees, Generation Z. Armed with the knowledge of computers and the internet’s power, there is no end to their creativity. Their ideas being implemented by higher management is one of the best ways of recognizing their talent. Besides, of course, to weekend offs, or a Friday night party hosted by the office!
There is a way to reach out to every generation that works for you. Every generation has its quirks, but a word of praise and a pat on the back is something that every employee desires and deserves. If you can somehow bring your entire workforce to come together, leaving their generational differences aside, then you will have a highly experienced and talented pool of employees. Employee recognition programs give you the ability to harness their power from both ends of the spectrum. The old and the new come together to drive the company forward, with expertise on one hand and energy on the other.