This is the end of a trilogy of posts geared towards helping you connect with Millennials in the workplace. 32 recruiting tactics, 30 retaining tactics and now 24 rewarding tactics and ideas to aid you in leveraging the raw potential of your next generation leaders.
There is no denying that the Millennials are an instant gratification generation (but aren’t we all these days?). We cannot fault the Millennials for this because it is culture, technology, and today's hyper-connectivity that has accelerated their appetite for instant everything.
I think a better way to categorize Millennials instead of instant everything (or that everyone gets a trophy) is that they are actually outcome-driven. (Whether a reward comes from a dopamine squirt in the brain from an epic Flappy Bird score, or the self-confidence that comes from a Facebook like, or the hustle that ensues after a tangible reward…results matter. Rewards benchmark success.
One of the biggest frustrations I hear from leaders is that Millennials think they can become CEO in a year. Unrealistic? Maybe...but maybe not when you grew up alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, David Karp, Ben Silberman and Kevin Rose. Regardless, Millennial's big expectations are tied to unrealistic time-lines because leaders and organizations lack the ability to communicate the steps involved to get from where the Millennials are to where they want to be.
The companies that invest the small amount of time and effort to nurture Millennial's CEO-big aspirations into daily execution coupled with rewards will reap the hustle, loyalty, and future leadership of today’s largest generation.
10 Millennial Rewarding Tactics
- Keep it personal. Millennials respond best when rewards are personal to them.
- Eliminate one-size-fits-all motivators.
- Ask Millennials what rewards they want.
- Keep in mind Millennials value lifestyle and relationships over work.
- Millennials respond best to short-term goals.
- Tie rewards to individual performance and also to a team-based metric.
- Recognize them in front of those they care about.
- Family is Millennials greatest influence. Loyalty will reign if you win the family over.
- Internal motivation can be sparked by internal promotions.
- Find ways to make internal promotions unique and a big deal.
14 Millennial Rewarding Ideas
- Ditch the gift cards and jean days.
- Grant them special access to a leader.
- Offer a first look at some new tech.
- Award ownership in selecting their next project.
- Sponsor their ticket to a conference of their choice. (You never know where inspiration will come from.)
- Have their manager wash their car.
- Write handwritten notes to parents without telling the Millennial employee.
- Grant them the chance to appear on the company podcast or YouTube/media channel.
- Give them an exclusive parking spot for a week.
- Offer tickets to an exclusive event.
- Make a donation to their charity of choice.
- Recognize them on the homepage of the company website or blog.
- Extend rewards or coupons to the Millennial's family.
- Allow them to rent a fantasy car for a week.
Question: What reward is your greatest motivator?