The Millennial Magnet: How Recognition Programs Help Retain Top Talent

Written by Vladimir Tosic

Corporate and Startup Leader. Culture builder. Marketer and product designer.

November 22, 2023

Image by: TungArt7 from Pixabay

It is a peculiar creature – the Millennial. Consumed by student loans and existential dread, it wades through life looking to scrap the next task of the endless to do list. Millennials have been at the forefront of change, leading the Great Resignation and openly speaking about things like remote work, cost of living, and burnout. One of the key questions is – in a world where millennials have suffered the brunt of historical changes, what motivates them to shape the future?

Thanks to the assertiveness that is a hallmark of their generation –

we know what attracts millennials to companies, and we are aware of what makes them stay. In both cases it is recognition.

Millennials crave something more than flexibility, they want meaning.

Meaning, of course, can differ. If you work as an emergency care doctor or a social care worker, meaning is overflowing. Finding a higher purpose while working in administration or auditing might look more challenging from the outside, but for people that are enjoying that kind of work it can be as fulfilling as saving lives.

Feeling appreciated, feeling that you are contributing and making a difference can be a true performance booster. That is where recognition comes to play. 


What Millennials want 

Millennials might be over the usual corporate cocktail of team buildings and canapes but they are very much embracing recognition as a badge of honor. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pew Research Center, KPMG, and Deloitte all conducted surveys to see what makes millennials tick. There are five traits that most millennials share, these traits include their advanced technological skills, as well as their attitudes toward work and life balance, social responsibility, education, and diversity.


Recognition programs – nets that capture talent

Recognition programs are systems in which companies reward and recognize desired employee behaviors. They help companies motivate and retain their most valuable employees. Not only are they necessary, they work.

Researchers interviewed 632 people for the survey in April 2019. It was sponsored by daVinci Payments, a payroll technology firm. The results showed that 50 percent of employees feel like the management doesn’t recognize their hard work, and 43 percent of millennials are already looking for another career opportunity.

Interestingly enough, over 79 percent of participants said that more recognition would strengthen their bond with the company.

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be just simple public praise (although, that won’t hurt either). Modern recognition programs have embraced the perks of the digital age.

Company blogs can highlight projects and the people behind them, internal newsletters will use the infamous circular emails to make someone smile, and gamification features such as recognition competitions can award and motivate employees across departments and even countries.

One of the examples of a gamified recognition experience is the RoMo app that integrates into your company’s favorite tools for communication and collaboration, like Slack, and serves as a simple yet effective pat on the back. It allows you to award and engage employees in a fun and seamless manner.

And it’s also available for testing on Slack completely risk-free. Go, try it out, and make your employees proud of you.

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