Mission: To strengthen and inspire leaders of the social sector and their partners in business and government.
The millennials, the generation of workers born roughly between 1980 and 2000, are entering the workforce in droves. An estimated 44 million are already working and 46 million more are to become a part of the workforce in the years ahead. This generation will come to dominate the workforce in both number and attitude—and in the process reshape the work experience of all employees. What is important to this generation and how can employers best tap into the potential they have to offer at work? Given that 75 percent of this generation reports planning to find a new job as the economy improves, it is worth your investment of time and energy to see how best you can attract, motivate, and retain them in your organization today.
Profile of the Millennials
Five Motivational Tools
Online Recognition and Rewards Can Work Best
You can't wait until people are walking out the door to have a strategy to keep them from leaving!The benefits of an online recognition and rewards program can be achieved by applying some of the latest technology that is now available from the incentive industry. For example, you can have a dedicated website in your organization that can serve as a portal for all things having to do with recognition and rewards: strategic objectives, organizational mission, and core values you want to promote; public recognition, points allocation, and individual rewards redemption; and ongoing communication, tracking, and feedback reports that can be used to enhance and improve the ongoing recognition initiative.
In line with the times, the motivations of the millennials can best be met with the use of an online rewards and recognition program that provides a central online platform or portal. This provides a social-media-like solution that appeals to all generations; the frequent praise millennials desire in the form of online recognition from peers or managers around organizational objectives, core values, and so on; a social aspect of public posting of praises, and the ability to pass praise they receive on to their social network via LinkedIn or Facebook. In addition, it can be tailored to provide maximum choice on the part of each employee as to the rewards to be selected with points they have earned.
In addition, this solution allows you to diminish the costs of administration and personnel to your organization’s recognition and reward programs, often replacing incentive programs that have lost their significance over time. This solution allows ease in tracking and reporting of motivators in a way that helps to build a momentum of success in the organization that truly leads to the creation of a culture of recognition as part of being an employer of choice.
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” In harnessing the abilities of the millennials, this could be a conversation, an article, a conference call, a book, a presentation . . . perhaps even a mandate. You first need to raise the awareness of an existing or impending problem to get managers to consider taking action about it. Depending upon the management team you have, understanding and motivating the millennials may take a series of initiatives for them to see the significance of the issue from a positive perspective for both themselves as managers and for the organization.
What creates the urgency in this situation? The pending exodus of the baby boomers as 70 million retire over the next 10 years? The fact that 75 percent of millennials currently working in your organization report planning to leave as the economy improves? The fact that the cost of replacing professional employees is estimated today to be 1.5 times their salary (so says research from the national Society for Human Resource Management)—not even taking into account the opportunity cost of lost corporate knowledge of products and services, client relationships, and processes and procedures? The conclusion is that your organization—and each of your managers—needs to be skilled at attracting and motivating new talent and even more skilled at holding on to that talent.
There are many reasons to be frustrated by the newest generation in the workforce, but a greater number of reasons to be excited about what they have to offer any employer who is willing to meet them at their expectations in the workplace. We like to think of the millennials as having “no boundaries” and “unlimited potential,” that is, an ability to tap into a wellspring of energy, creativity, and attitude that can make things happen. In some ways, what this generation wants is what all employees want. Perhaps now is the time to consider making work more meaningful and exciting for both the millennials and every other employee as well. You can’t wait until people are walking out the door to have a strategy to keep them from leaving!
Razor Suleman is CEO of I Love Rewards (www
.iloverewards.com), the leading online rewards and recognition solution provider, with offices in San Francisco, Toronto, and Boston. I Love Rewards has received numerous awards for being a Best Place to Work, Fastest Growing Company, and Top Technology Company in North America.
Bob Nelson is president of Nelson Motivation Inc. (www.nelson-motivation.com), a leading management training and consulting company based in San Diego, California; cofounder of Recognition Professionals International, and a best-selling author of “1001 Ways to Reward Employees” (now in its 57th printing) and “The 1001 Rewards & Recognition Fieldbook,” among others. Morley Safer first interviewed Nelson on this topic in a CBS 60 Minutes segment titled “The Millennials Are Coming!”