The baby boomers are retiring and headed for white sandy beaches while companies are faced with the challenging task of attracting and retaining Millennials to fill these vacant positions.
It is therefore important to fully understand the company culture this generation desires and more importantly what engages and motivates them. Millennials are currently the most represented generation in the global workplace;
But; this workforce comes a notable lack of employer loyalty. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends report, SA: ‘76% of Millennials are expected to quit their current employer by 2020’.
Millennials thrive in flat management structures and team- or project-based roles. They are excited at the prospect of working in teams as they have a deep need for social interaction. Compared to baby boomers, they want, and expect a completely different employee experience.
This generational cohort is digitally fluent, self-confident, adaptable and set high expectations for themselves. They seek work-life balance but relish career challenges that offer immediate results and advancement.
Every person experiences a direct link between their perceived value and their state of happiness. For Millennials this holds even truer; personal growth, consistent engagement and a sense of belonging to a company outweighs monetary rewards.
It’s for this reason that they find themselves in an ever-present state of ‘looking for the next best thing’ to tick all of these boxes for them. This leaves employers battling for their hearts and minds, but to win this, you need to understand what’s important to them.
What do Millennials really want?
A Millennial’s biggest motivator for changing position is the promise of purpose, fulfilment and recognition. This Millennial craving for recognition is better understood when you consider that they have been given attention and praise from their childhood days, so they expect it as adults in the workplace. They are less about tickets and trips and care more about immediacy and consistency of their recognition.
Millennials seek a purpose connection with their employers and want to be recognised in a consistent, meaningful. This encourages them to become high-performance contributors to their organisations.
Enter peer-to-peer recognition.
Offering a continuous feedback loop and virtuous recognition cycle, it meets the need for Millennials to have their say.
And, what’s even better?
Peer-to-peer recognition is technology based. This means that Millennials can access it anywhere, anytime – further supporting their always-on-social-savvy personalities.
Millennials are not looking for one-off recognition or infrequent engagement. They want authentic interactions that satisfy their needs for transparency, teamwork and the opportunity to be part of work environments that impact work and the world positively.
It’s simple, really;
Millennials thrive in symbiotic employee-employer relationships that nurture their ambitions while making a great impact on your company’s success.
Peer-to-peer recognition can do this. Millennials recognise their colleagues for doing great work, thereby creating a culture of recognition and engagement.
As collaboration is central to today’s workplaces, peer-to-peer recognition companies, therefore, have a strategic opportunity to foster a positive, inclusive and collaborative culture that is trusted by its employees, especially the Millennials.
This type of recognition also decentralises corporate-style communication and supports the concept that everyone’s opinion matters. Peer-to-peer fosters camaraderie, boosts performance and cultivates company-wide collaboration – across all generations.
Companies that link their company values with peer-to-peer recognition and assign approximately 1% of payroll to a recognition program experience a reduction in employee turnover, an increase in engagement, productivity, employee and customer retention and satisfaction; and ultimately financial results.
According to a 2016 survey by SHRM relating to employee recognition, ‘90% of employees cited that values-based, peer-to-peer recognition made them more satisfied with their work.
8 benefits of peer-to-peer recognition that lead to business success;
1. It encourages collaboration at work.
When employees trust and appreciate their peers, they put in even more collaborative effort when working within teams.
2. It fosters a sense of team spirit.
Recognition is a virtuous cycle – it includes everyone. Employees celebrate individual and team success, and this becomes part of a positive company culture of appreciation.
3. It encourages employee happiness.
We all feel a happiness boost when we are recognised or feel appreciated. Whether it’s for the great work we’ve done, or just helping others, do their best, ‘thank you’ can significantly impact overall employee happiness.
4. It motivates employees to do great work.
When an employee is recognised, they want to experience that feeling of appreciation again, and again. This is the reason that positive, values-linked behaviours are repeated by engaged employees.
5. It promotes company-wide transparency.
When others are being recognised and appreciated for their hard work, it pushes non-performers to increase their productivity and service levels so that they can also be recognised by their peers. While everyone can see who is being recognised they can also notice who isn’t – nobody wants to be ‘that’ employee.
6. It boosts employee engagement including Millennials.
Recognition cultivates open, consistent communication with employees. It allows for honest feedback and on-the-spot appreciation. This immediate feedback loop helps to reach high engagement levels.
7. It builds a positive, unified company culture.
Peer-to-peer recognition helps companies build a great workplace culture by communicating effectively because communication is a primary human need. This helps to foster a strong alignment with the companies vision, mission and values.
8. It improves employee emotional health.
Employee emotional happiness is critical to healthy workplaces. When employees are happy, they are healthier, more attentive and productive.
The Millennials are the largest generational group since the Baby Boomers, and this workforce band is going to grow significantly over the next few years. Understanding how to motivate, engage and retain Millennial employees will continue to be a priority for organisational success.
Ultimately, this depends on your company’s employee engagement levels. And, recognition is a central driver of this. Millennials believe that their value lies in their skills.
For companies, consistently recognising the role the Millennial employee plays can boost their innovative and collaborative approach when engaging with their teams and managers.
Millennials want to believe in their employers, and if they do, they will contribute to help reach organisational success. Help them realise this and motivate Millennials where and when it matters to them with a values-linked peer-to-peer recognition program.
“More than ever, they want to be part of a workplace culture that allows them to discover their own identity and inner confidence so that they can unleash their full potential.” – Glen Llopis, Forbes, 2014
Let us know in the comments section below about what you are doing to motivate and engage your millennial workforce. :)