In Canadian organizations, the most common type of reward and recognition programs are focused at acknowledging Team Members for their extended tenure with their employer. To earn this type of reward, individuals often must be employed with an organization for a period of 5 years or more. According to a recent study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, millennials in the workforce have an average of five different employers over a 10-year span, making long-service recognition initiatives ineffective at rewarding this group of Team Members. The report goes on to mention that the second most popular practice organizations use are retirement recognition programs, which also fail to target Team Members that have shorter tenures with employers.
Why is this information important for employers to be aware of? In 2016, Canadian organizations spent, on average, $139 per full-time employee on reward and recognition initiatives; however, only 37% of these initiatives consider multiple generations. This presents a missed opportunity for increasing both engagement and retention within the workplace, which can ultimately lead to a more productive and efficient organization.
With this information in mind, it is important that employers adjust and modify their reward and recognition programs to be more inclusive of millennials, especially with this generation’s representation growing in the workforce. Many organizations have taken this step by utilizing alternative or performance-based initiatives outside of their standard formal reward and recognition programs in order to acknowledge Team Members in the workplace. The Conference Board of Canada reports that of Canadian organizations:
- 92% recognize individual achievements through manager-to-employee initiatives
- 81% recognize outstanding teamwork and internal collaboration
- 80% recognize exceptional team performance
These types of programs can prove to be far more effective at targeting a wide demographic of Team Members, while also encouraging high performance. At RLB, we have embraced this approach of implementing unconventional programs that focus on smaller, but more frequent, rewards that recognize strong performance, rather than only having formal programs that focus on tenure. We administer a number of internal initiatives, such as our RLB Bucks Program, which allows our Managers and Partners to recognize and acknowledge our Team Members that operate below the Manager level. The program works by allowing Partners and Managers to distribute RLB Bucks (internal currency which can be used to purchase raffle tickets at our End of Tax Season Party) to those that demonstrate high initiative or performance, internal collaboration or random acts of kindness.
Not every program will be perfect at recognizing your entire workforce, so it is important to modify, diversify and be creative with your reward and recognition initiatives to ensure they are making a positive impact on all Team Members within your organization.
How are you recognizing your millennials within your team? Please let us know in the comments below!