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Reward Programs Miss the Mark with Millennials

Newly released research from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions reveals that current rewards & recognition programs aren’t always aligned with what makes Millennial employees happy and productive. The report, Happy Millennials: An Employee Rewards & Recognition Study, is the second of a four-part national survey that polled 1,800 salaried and hourly American workers, including nearly 350 Millennials, about the key components of employee happiness and the specific role rewards & recognition programs play in workplace satisfaction. Some highlights:
  • Millennials are happy and comfortable at work – except with rewards and recognition: Millennials are engaged at their jobs, with the majority having a clear understanding of what is expected of them, opportunities to learn and bosses who seem to care about them. However, only 40% are happy with the rewards & recognition programs their companies offer, and 39% say their employers don’t offer any rewards or recognition at all.
  • Affirmation is key to Millennials’ happiness: Millennials prefer recognition directly from a manager or via a companywide announcement rather than peer-to-peer. When asked what they most wanted to be recognized for, 85% of Millennials said they want to be rewarded for exceeding personal performance levels; 80% for receiving a promotion; and 79% for exceeding team performance levels.
  • Prepaid cards satisfy Millennials’ needs for instant gratification: Millennials appreciate vast choice and instant gratification, making reward selection convenient for employers. Prepaid cards meet both needs, and are overwhelmingly preferred by Millennials and other employees alike. An impressive 91% percent of Millennials said if they were to earn a reward worth $100, they would want it in the form of a prepaid card versus a reward that could be redeemed online from select merchants or credit for a reward catalog.
The report can be downloaded in its entirety here
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