ADP: 5 Ways to Manage Employee Recognition Through Generations

Advancing your career and finding the right employer and position fit doesn’t have to be complicated. There are things you can do each day to advance toward your dream job and thrive at work. The following article is part of a 5 Ways Series that offers resources and tips on leadership and career advancement you can use. 

ADP is No. 4 on the 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.


(This is an excerpt of a piece originally published on ADP’s Spark)

Organizations that understand how different types of recognition fuel growth and retention stand to attract the best workforce. When applied systematically, employee recognition can help your business achieve its recruiting goals. Here are five employee recognition strategies that should help you connect to your multigenerational employees:

1. Gather data on recognition by generation.

Data should be the first step in crafting a plan. Fortunately, you can leverage research tools and software to sort and collate internal data and compare it to benchmarks from various generations, firm sizes and industries in order to get a better understanding of what factors influence engagement.

2. Encourage management to account for generational differences.

One area that greatly influences employee recognition is in day-to-day management styles. While a large-scale, formal program has a role in enterprise management, it’s also key to educate your HR team and managers on different needs. Ask your managers to think about how recognition can be modified for interaction with a staff of varying ages.

3. Embrace the basics.

While there may be some variation between generations, certain aspects of successful employee recognition programs transcend age, including market competitive compensation, generous benefits and verbal recognition from managers and colleagues. Engage all your employees through financial incentives and praise for a job well-done.

4. Ask employees for feedback.

Every business has a different culture and unique needs. Gathering insight about your team, their priorities, current recognition programs and any opportunities for improvement can help you shape a customized road map to improve your organization’s employee recognition strategies.

5. Invest in enterprise-wide programs.

Ultimately, employee recognition must be a core element of your organization’s culture. From periodic salary increases to annual performance awards, enterprise-wide programs make it possible for large businesses to recognize their team’s contributions at scale. So in conjunction with your generational efforts, you should still work to develop an enterprise-wide approach that embeds itself into your culture and is a constant source of connection to employees of all ages.

Managing employee recognition through generations is a challenge facing today’s busy organizations. HR leaders can create effective strategies to handle key questions by focusing on what motivates different employee segments, how data can improve recognition delivery and what steps can be taken to instill employee recognition into your organization’s DNA.

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