Millennial Recognition in the Workplace

How does a company adapt to a changing workforce? First, acknowledge the change. The Millennial generation will represent the largest proportion of the workforce by 2024, which is rapidly approaching. As time goes on and the workplace environment shifts, it is important the companies understand the generational differences and make necessary and thoughtful changes to adapt.

Studies have shown that the Millennial generation, adults who were born between 1982 and 2000, thrive and stay longer in their jobs when they feel appreciated and recognized. A study that was done in April 2019 found that 79 percent of those interviews said that an increase in recognition rewards would make them more loyal to their employer. But what do they consider recognition?

The newer generation appreciated real-time acknowledgment, at least once a month, compared to the typical tradition of every 6 months or every 12 months. They prefer it to be meaningful and specific recognition, such as personalized awards or glassware. Some companies are curating personalized recognition programs for their employees, which includes PTO, gift card options, and blogs highlighting employee achievements. Studies show that social rewards bring the same positive emotions that a cash reward does.

As mentioned above, it is important to recognize this generation very specifically for their accomplishments. Did they have the highest sales in a month? Best attitude on the team? Brought the best dish to the team potluck lunch? Be sure to point out exactly how and why you appreciate them so they know they are valued as an asset to the company.

Another strategy for adequately recognizing your employees is to implement a merit based reward system, rather than a tenure based system. The Millennial Generation feels the need to be rewarded when they are doing well, and not just when they’ve hit a time milestone within the company. This system encourages the best performance from employees, no matter how long you’ve been on the team.

While being recognized for hard work is important to Millennials, so is having work life balance. Giving the upcoming workforce more freedom to schedule their days will provide more output from them in the long run. They will feel positive and motivated towards the work they are doing, because they can work when it best suits them without having to miss out on family or personal events. By rewarding top employees with flexible schedules, it shows them that the company trusts them and they’re even more inclined to keep that trust and to keep the flexible schedule.

With a slight shift in mindset and a commitment from the leaders within your company, you can be sure that your employees will leave everyday feeling valued and appreciated for their work. If you or your company is considering unique and personalized workplace recognition awards, please visit our website at for some inspiration!