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How to Attract & Retain Millenial Talent with Corporate Awards

Whether it's simply human nature or society or both, older generations have always had a penchant for criticizing younger ones. It could be the length of their hair, their music, or even theirMillenials 1 attitude that they object to. But seldom has a generation been so unanimously maligned for one specific characteristic as Generation Y. The so-called Millennials have earned consistently low marks for loyalty from employers, as they have embraced job hopping as a legitimate career strategy.

What is It?

Countless studies have confirmed that Millennials spend an average of just two years at each job before they jump ship and hop to another one. By comparison, the generations that preceded them, Generation X and the Baby Boomers, spent 5 years and 7 year respectively at each of their early jobs. What does this new reality mean for modern employers?

For starters, it means that they are having a much harder time retaining new workers than they did in the past; a fact that weighs on the minds of managers and corporate recruiters alike. The problem is so severe that it's actually measured in two ways: direct and indirect costs.  Direct costs include the time and money it takes to recruit, interview, and train a new employee, while indirect costs include loses in efficiency and employee morale that inevitably attend high worker turnover.

How to Improve Retention Rates

Even if we believe that Millennials are, on average, less loyal to their employers than earlier generations, they almost always have a reason for leaving one company for another. Now, you might assume that that reason is always monetary in nature, but you'd be wrong!

According to numerous surveys, younger workers want a positive, inspiring working environment that gives them the opportunity to spread their wings. And as for loyalty, Millennials are no different than previous generations in that most of them want to be a part of a group or team that focuses on something much larger than themselves. However, they also want their bosses to recognize and Millenials 2reward their hard work and dedication.  This can be accomplished quite easily in one simple step.

Create a Reward & Recognition Program

No matter which generation we belong to, we all have a basic human need to feel appreciated and thusly proud of the work we do. Employee recognition and incentive programs are an effective, often inexpensive way for bosses to show young workers that their hard work has not gone unnoticed.  What the reward is makes no difference - a plastic trophy, a wooden plaque, or a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant are all valuable in the eyes of employees looking for recognition.

The point of these programs is to let employees know that what they do matters and will be rewarded on a regular basis.  This is especially important for those who have only recently entered the work force and are looking for affirmation that they’re on the right track.

Recognition and reward programs also have the extra added benefit of fostering healthy competition between employees. Because the prizes are often quite small, workers are unlikely to resort to underhanded tactics just to secure a victory, but will rather compete because they want the recognition that comes with the award.

It is no wonder younger workers often excel in competitions that give them an opportunity to earn their spurs and prove to older employees that they have what it takes to make it in the business.