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University of Greenwich study on when not to say thank you

Bosses are failing at recognising employees well

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It doesn’t take much for Millennial staff to quit their jobs and join other firms – so why aren’t bosses doing more to retain their young employees?

For instance, many employers are missing the mark when it comes to recognising and rewarding Millennial employees.

This was according to a new study conducted by Aon Hewitt and O.C. Tanner, which polled more than 470 employers across five countries to examine the strategy, vehicles and effectiveness of their recognition programmes.

According to the findings, 23% of firms stated their recognition strategies are ineffective for Millennial workers.

This percentage was the highest among all generations in the workforce.

Almost one in five (16%) of firms stated their recognition strategies for the Silent Generation (those born before 1946) were unsatisfactory.

This was only slightly higher for recognition programmes catered for Baby Boomers and members of the Generation X – 14% of firms stated such plans were ineffective.

To make things worse, the survey added that Millennial workers agree that their employer’s recognition programmes are unsatisfying.

Citing a seperate survey, it said nearly two in five Millennials (38%) would like to see the recognition programme at their current employer improved.

ALSO READ: Your staff want recognition more than cash

“With Millennials becoming the largest generation in today’s workforce, employers need to ensure their recognition programmes meet their needs,” said Gary Beckstrand, vice president at O.C. Tanner.

“Millennials want recognition like any other employees, but they appreciate recognition that carries meaning and helps them feel empowered. This perhaps explains why things like thank yous from peers and managers (53%) and public recognition from senior leadership (42%) were the top used vehicles across organisations at the broad level.”

Besides these two means of recognition, the survey added handwritten notes and experiential rewards such as event tickets were some of the vehicles that were employed by organisations that reported stronger recognition programs for Millennials than others.

Recognition programmes for less senior roles were, in fact, found to be the least effective.

Almost three in 10 (26%) of such programmes for interns were found to be inefficient.

“Millennials have a greater need to be recognised and want to be in front of management much sooner than previous generations,” explained Neil Shastri, leader of Global Insights & Innovation at Aon Hewitt.

“Being recognised and thanked by leaders in a meaningful way and on a frequent basis not only gives Millennial workers a rewarding experience, but also strengthens their personal connection to the organisation and encourages them to continue to be key contributors.”

Image: Shutterstock

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