What the class of 2012 can teach us about employee engagement

What’s the best way to attract top talent from the Class of 2012? In order to successfully recruit, retain, and inspire these Millennials, you should focus your engagement strategy based on their motivations and desire for choice.

Achievers and Experience Inc. recently polled over 8,000 students across the country to uncover the Class of 2012’s expectations about entering the workforce. Data collected from this Class of 2012 study provides an in-depth understanding about Millennials that can help employers gain a more accurate perspective of what motivates and drives their future employees. In order to stay ahead of the curve and attract top talent, your organization should constantly evaluate its motivation strategies to keep employees engaged and retained, in order to ensure that Millennials view the organization as a leading business and top employer.

Among many interesting and surprising statistics, an important highlight revolves around identifying what drives Millennials and how to cater an engagement strategy around motivation.

The study proposed that if an employer had an employee reward program (receiving items of your choice for exhibiting good behaviors that contribute to the organization’s success) and you earned a reward, what category is most appealing if you were given the option to choose a reward? The reward options available were:

  • travel reward
  • experience reward
  • gift card of your choice
  • merchandise of your choice
  • charitable donation to the charity of your choice
  • time pieces and jewelry, plaques
  • company branded merchandise.

The results showed:

  • 81% of Millennials  chose a travel reward
  • 70% displayed preference for an experience reward (spa getaway, white water rafting).

The results indicate that Millennials are more motivated by intangible rewards that evoke positive memories. The great part for employers is that these experiences and memories become attributed to the company and the good behaviors exhibited to earn the choice of reward. This helps drive positive repeat behavior. The most important take-away from the study signified the importance of choice when determining a reward, so employers should ensure they provide these opportunities to most effectively motivate behaviors that will drive the organization’s success.

Why do you think it’s important to be able to choose your own reward? Would you choose travel or an experience as a reward, if given the choice?


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