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Reward millennials with experiences and food, research finds

Posted: 10 Jan 2017

Reward millennials with experiences and food, research findsUnderstanding millennials is the key to unlocking a successful workforce but for a generation that prefers experiences to cash, what's the best way to reward them?

Iain Thomson, Director of Incentive and Recognition at Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, explains that as millennials will make up 50% of the entire workforce by 2020, HR managers need to start recognising the best ways to compensate them.

In an interview with HR Grapevine, he explained that traditional reward schemes may fall short. "Whereas Gen X or baby boomers chose to save their disposable income for large investments, such as purchasing a house, it is clear that those currently in their twenties and thirties prefer to spend money on experiences and leisure activities," he said. "Businesses need to understand this shift in generational behaviours in order to engage and motivate their entire team."

Eating out, travel to foreign destinations and experience days are just some of the ways in which Thomson suggests that businesses reward millennials for their efforts – and motivate them for the future.

But he also gives a warning not to exclude other members of staff: "Incentive and reward packages need to be tailored so that they remain inclusive of all staff regardless of age, gender or background. Traditional reward packages should therefore be reviewed to include options like gift cards and leisure platforms that offer discounts on experiences, local trips and holidays."

He suggests that managers need to engage with their staff on a regular basis to discover what motivates them and what they'd like to see in their personalised reward packages. "With this approach, managers will be able to show employees that they are listening to their wants and needs," he adds. "This will help to boost motivation and positively impact the business."

Are you up to date with what the younger generation craves in terms of compensation and rewards, especially in the marketing sector? Talk to us today to find out.

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