A New Year – A Fresh Star
2020 has arrived and as always a new year brings us tough challenges and exciting opportunities. So what do we need to focus on this year in our employee recognition programs? What are the difficult issues and potential breakthroughs we will have to face? Do we know what they are and are we ready to take them on?
The Widening Generation Gap
A recent article in SHRM summarizes the challenges that will be most pressing in 2020. This year we will have the broadest representation of Generation Z and Millennials in the workforce. The old guard is rapidly fading, and a new younger team is about to enter the field. Are we ready for them? Have our employee recognition programs kept pace with the needs and demands of a brand new crew?
How Are Generation Z and Millennials Feeling about their Workplace?
In a recent study reported by SHRM, it seems that Generation Z and Millennials are not at all enthused about the current state of their workplaces. The study found that employees in these groups are much more likely to feel dissatisfied at work and seek better experiences elsewhere.
Researchers interviewed adults ages 18 to 38 and found that 43% of Millennials and 78% of the youngest workers surveyed - Generation Z - plan to leave their job within the next two years.
Additional findings from the study include:
- 50 percent feel that management does not recognize strong job performance.
- 79 percent said that an increase in recognition rewards would make them more loyal to their employer.
- 76 percent believe they are "seldom to never" eligible for employee rewards.
So what can employers do to meet the needs of these growing worker groups?
Applying Behavioral Science
There is no doubt that the new generation of younger workers is very different in attitudes and behaviors than older employees. There are numerous reasons for this of course, but primarily the dawn of the digital age has created enormous gaps in social and emotional behaviors of the different age groups.
Leading experts are advising employers to turn to behavioral science as the basis of employee recognition programs. For instance, employers can put in place recognition programs that emphasize these factors:
- Shared identity by connecting the employee experience to the company's purpose and values, instilling a sense of belonging and inspiring commitment and support.
- Social rewards that deliver on the desire for connections with others, activating positive emotions in the brain in the same way a cash gift would.
- Feedback that communicates progress on meaningful work, contributing to satisfaction and maintaining momentum and motivation.
Leveraging the Intranet
Companies are being urged to empower the use of their intranet to reach out to media savvy employees. This is the world they live in, and the workplace needs to reflect that world in all aspects.
The intranet can be a valuable tool for recognizing your employees in an environment where they feel at home.
Here are a few examples of how your Intranet can facilitate employee recognition.
- Peer to peer recognition - digital pats on the back can be as effective as cash.
- Blogs can spotlight employee achievements.
- Gamification features such as recognition competitions can motivate and reward good performance.
- Third-party apps can be integrated with the intranet to make access easier when a company already has an established method for recognition.
No Risk No Reward
Renewing and revamping your employee recognition program can be a daunting task, but it’s time to let go of things that no longer work. You’re going to need an extremely robust technology platform to pull this off. This is where Incentra can help. Let us minimize your risk, and you’ll reap the rewards.