do millennials really want employee recognition? absolutely

By carina wytiaz

A great deal has been written about Millennials, the generation born after 1980, and how they are changing the landscape of work.

What’s the deal with Millennials?

It’s been stated that Millennials aren’t willing to work hard, expecting to enter their professions without having to do the bottom rung work, and aren’t loyal to employers or even a specific field. While the Millennial mindset could feel like another planet to employers, one thing that every Millennial has in common with any other employee, regardless of their demographic, is their desire to be recognized. In fact, you could argue that Millennials require more employee recognition and praise than any other demographic. However, your praise better be sincere. Millennials can spot lip service from a mile away.

Millennials grew up in an era of eroding company loyalty, seeing their parents laid off and companies being downsized, so they are suspicious of group think. They define loyalty to a company as being rewarded with meaningful or interesting work. Millennials truly do want meaningful work; it’s not enough to punch a clock. They want to feel like they are making a difference. Help them find the “why” of their tasks instead of simply demanding the completion of tasks.

How Millennials Can Transform Your Company

Millennials can be a tremendous asset to your company. Savvy employers understand that any potential impertinence from the demographic is well offset with their inventive ideas and eagerness to change the status quo. A Millennial will be quick to spot redundancies in your work process. Use their insights to help streamline your organization. Millennials have collaborated with friends and classmates since preschool and have advanced team building capacities. A Millennial can help advise your social media and marketing strategies. They will have ideas on how to use and integrate technology that you could never have imagined. This is the first digital native generation. Use those skills to transform your company and bring it into the digital age.

So do they need to be recognized differently? Yes and no. Remember they’re people and every person wants to know they’re valued for the difference they make. You just need to know the best way to recognize them to be effective.

  • Use sincere verbal praise.
  • Make it personal.
  • Collaborate on their celebration. Collaboration from their earliest years means your youngest employees view you asking for help as validation of their worth, not a show of weakness.
  • Send a personal note or email from their manager
  • Don’t wait for the annual review, communicate feedback often. Every tweet, text, and Facebook post counts.
  • Be open to inventive recognition options (such as a video gaming party).

So, take concrete steps today to recognize Millennials, and anyone else in your organization.

For further insight, explore what motivates a multi-generational workforce and how to help all levels of experience work together better by listening to our webinar on Employee Recognition for the Multi-Generational Workforce.

Categories: Insights, Recognition Strategies, Webinars

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By carina wytiaz

Carina Wytiaz is a professional writer and Internet marketer, with experience drawn from her time at FranklinCovey, Borders,,,, and several traditional marketing and advertising agencies. She loves helping employees feel more included and valued through exuberant appreciation experiences, and helping companies realize the incredible potential of their human capital.

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