Reduce millennial turnover through a culture of recognition
Creating a culture of recognition always begins at the top. Culture of employee recognition helps organizations to improve engagement with their employees. Now a day’s millennials want recognition at workplaces, they want to get appreciated for their work. An open door policy coupled with honest and sincere appreciation from the senior leadership team sets the right tune. It’s the ‘trickle down’ effect that creates a long lasting impression on the organization. Leaders who openly acknowledge the efforts of the team are the most respected and trusted. Their actions encourage growth, loyalty and engagement. On the other hand, leaders who take credit for work done by others or who take their team for granted may well be showing the exit door to good people they can depend on.
The trickle down impact of appreciation is so strong that its value just doesn’t remain locked within the leadership team but travels all through the organization till its stops at the junior most employee or a new comer, including staff on contractual roles. Its builds a cohesive force that benefits the overall mood and motive of all employed. The strong pull doesn’t just get its momentum at the end of the year or every half year or every quarter but comes in at regular intervals even on a daily basis the moment an employee gets a warm hearted “Thank You for the hard work you put in”. Imagine a starry night sky with burst of fireworks every now and then – a celebration at work happening in a regular rhythm with every conscious effort made by any employee anywhere in the world valued, recognized and presented to the world around!
As we know now, millennials want recognition at workplaces. Then what are the ways to build this culture of recognition. One of the best ways of driving a culture of appreciation is to handover the baton to the employees. How employees greet and interact on a day-to-day basis also shows a general feeling of appreciation and mutual respect for one another. “Appreciate you being here”, “Nice talking to you”, “Thanks for your inputs”, or “its fun working with you” are the different ways of expressing mutual respect. It’s the self-driven positive energy running on an auto pilot mode that makes employee engagement programs successful. Successful recognition systems wins over the hearts of employees when people have the power to express themselves, when systems are best left to the “of the people, for the people and by the people” instead of being another “HR policy”. When such personal notes are shared over the employee notice board (read intranet), people sit up and take notice. What gets noticed is not just the reason why someone is getting recognition but due importance is given to the person who gives the recognition as well.
Can a business retain millennial talent by building a culture of appreciation? A Gallup study (http://news.gallup.com/reports/189830/e.aspx) estimated that millennial turnover due to lack of engagement costs the U.S. economy about $30 billion annually. What we need to understand here is that millennials have grown up in an environment where global influencers have played a significantly larger role than local environment. They refuse to be led into the ‘rat race’ to make a mark in their lives. What they want is a sense of purpose to their being. They want to be recognized for their own unique abilities. They expect their own talents to be honored. Ongoing feedback and recognitions are much more helpful than a yearly pat on the back. They maynot be there to receive the award – who knows?
The few startling facts coming out of the study are:
- ONLY 29% OF MILLENNIALS ARE engaged, meaning they are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company.
- Another 16% of millennials are actively disengaged, meaning they are more or less out to do damage to their company.
- The majority of millennials (55%) are not engaged, leading all other generations in this category of workers.
And this is where a strong culture of appreciation comes to the rescue. It’s the inbuilt culture of the organization that keeps people happy and engaged from the moment they step in. Millennials want recognition because, they feel motivated when peers cheer them up on their deliverables and achievements. Innovative, creative and informal ways of recognition are an important way of keeping them actively engaged in the workforce. A genuine culture of recognition – one that is honest, sincere and transparent keeps the motivation levels high for the young ‘know it all’ crowd. It doesn’t matter then if it’s the physical office or the virtual workplace, a positive, self-driven, motivated team makes all the difference to keep millennials a part of them… For a longer time for sure!