Times are changing, and so are the attitudes towards employment across many sectors. Members of the Millennial Generation are not the same workers that shaped the economy of the 20th century. Millennials tend to be more sensitive towards the work-life balance continuum, and they are more likely to respond to Theory Y of personnel management.
When it comes to the management and motivation of employees, the draconian, hands-on style of micromanaging workers under the assumption that they will do as little as possible when no one is looking is known as Theory X, which was abandoned in the 1980s. Theory Y is a more optimistic approach that grants workers with greater job responsibilities because this will make them feel special. According to Award Pins for Employees, encouragement and employee recognition are two important pillars of Theory Y; the diversity and spirit of the rewards are equally important. To this effect, here are six meaningful ways to recognize employees who truly deserve recognition:
1 – The Gift of Wellness
Smart company owners reward their employees with gifts related to fitness and wellness. Building exercise rooms, outdoor basketball courts or small pitches to play five-on-five soccer are some of the most thoughtful gifts that can be given to staff members as part of company-wide effort to recognize all employees. The individual version of this recognition is to gift gym subscriptions to outstanding workers. This reward can be easily turned into an incentive by encouraging employees to do their best so that they can join their coworkers at the health club.
2 – Lunch
This is an old standby that never goes out of style, especially when the lunch is with the boss or with the owner at a fancy restaurant. If the lunch reward is presented to the employee of the month, the location should change and the rest of the staff should be notified; in fact, sharing photos of the fancy meal on social media could be a morale booster and an encouragement for other staff members to also achieve this recognition. Lunch is also a good idea for rewarding a team of employees who have exceeded performance or completed a project.
3 – Substantial Pay Raise
Not many employees these days expect to see a raise at the end of the year; for this reason, this would be the nicest reward a worker could expect to receive at the office holiday party, particularly if it is unexpected. Companies that do not have an employee recognition program in place can get started with this one, which is a smart method to really push workers into being ultra-productive throughout the year.
4 – Sleep In Days
Hard-working employees whose shifts start in the early morning will truly appreciate the opportunity to arrive later for an entire workweek, provided that the extra hours of sleep are paid. To make this recognition even more special, a gift card or certificates that can be redeemed at a local diner or restaurant that serves breakfast could be included. When a team or a department is to be rewarded in this fashion, the hours could be reduced and the breakfast could consist of coffee and bagels brought into the office.
5 – Smartphone or Tablet
This reward could be a little tricky since it requires some research into the employee’s preferences. Millennials are quite fond of their mobile devices, and they tend to be loyal to certain platforms. For example, a worker who uses an iPhone should be recognized with the latest model or a substantial upgrade. The same goes for an employee who prefers Android devices; the key is to avoid giving an iPhone to someone who is not really fond of Apple products. It may be easier to give iTunes cards to iPhone users and Google Play certificates to those who prefer Android. An employee who uses a feature phone, also known as a “dumb phone,” may have good reasons for doing so, and they may not always involve not being able to afford a smartphone.
6 – Happy Hour
This reward is better for teams or departments, and it does not have to involve alcohol. A manager can be tasked with taking employees to a happy hour at a place where gourmet snacks are served on a Friday. Two drinks on the house and a couple of snacks before the manager adjourns the activity; employees should know that they are not obligated to either go home or stay.