Essentials of Employee Recognition in Multigenerational Workforces

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Employee recognition is a way of acknowledging your staff's dedication and performance. When you recognize their efforts, they feel heard and noticed for all their efforts. It is not just enough to hand them their paychecks at the end of the month.

When you appreciate them by going the extra mile and doing something for their benefit, it makes them more loyal towards their employers who take time to look after their well being.

Here is a look at the essentials and best practices when you have a multigenerational workforce to know which incentives work the best for each group.

  1. Deeper Engagement

Sometimes, recognition obtained from the higher levels of management alone is not enough. Peer respect and appreciation are equally crucial as the employees spend the maximum time with each other.

For employee recognition, you can make sure through certain healthy practices and teamwork that Generation Y has more respect for the traditionalists' knowledge and expertise, rather than merely dismissing them as old-fashioned. Older workers stay motivated that they still have it in them to drive the organization forward.

On the other hand, the baby boomer generation needs to trust the new staff and trust them more responsibility. By holding young workers accountable, they feel they can make a difference in the organization and not just work towards nothing.

  1. Different Approach to Recognition

When it comes to the various ways in which you express your appreciation for your employees, it has to be as multidimensional as your multigenerational workforce.

Older employees start feeling that their organization is their second home, and they do all that it takes for its wellbeing. The best way to show recognition is to give them some autonomy and engage them in specific decision-making scenarios. It gives them the idea that their opinions matter after spending all that time with the organization. After a time, a good cash payout alone ceases to make them happy about their work. They want respect, and you can give them by handing them a variety of work and letting them do it on their own.

Younger workers prefer more concrete results. Timely promotions and the resultant better paycheck drive most of the youngsters in modern workplaces.

  1. Eliminate Vagueness

When it comes to employee recognition, try to reduce vagueness, especially in older employees. If you appreciate their efforts, try to be concrete about which part of the work they did was good enough to merit a reward. For them, there is a need to know which part of their work received the merit.

A timely "well done" when they have closed a deal or made a good presentation can be useful for younger employees. Make it a practice among all levels of the management to inculcate this habit. However, it should be a sincere word of praise and not one more thing to do on your list. When they know they are being noticed, they automatically feel motivated.

  1. Fair Recognition

It is a crucial issue that many organizations have trouble with. You should not just have an employee recognition program in place; it should also be as fair as possible. There are far too many disgruntled older employees who feel they were overlooked in favor of someone closer to the management.

Getting feedback from your employees on this issue can give you a clear picture of the underlying work practices and make sure that it aligns with your work ethics. The employees should feel secure and should not be afraid to speak up on this matter.

When fairness is practiced continuously, it percolates down to the next generation of employees as well, who practice fairness in turn, building a strong foundation for your company. When incentives are based on performance alone, there are zero scopes for unfairness.

  1. Meaningful Expression of Recognition

Lastly, when you recognize your employee’s efforts, please make sure your ways of expressing them are something they appreciate and understand. Older employees might not care if the office converts into a dance stage during a celebratory party. Younger employees might not be caring much about retirement benefits as yet. Give some thought about what the employee would like and hold dear and plan accordingly.

If you have a multigenerational workforce and you can find a way of making them all work and contribute together, then you just might have hit the jackpot according to modern industry standards. It will pave the way for phenomenal success for your organization and not client retention or good marketing, but efficient employee recognition will be the reason behind it.