ADP: 5 Ways to Manage Employee Recognition Through Generations

Advice for HR leaders managing teams where four generations are working side by side.

ADP is No. 17 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list


(Originally published on ADP's Spark)

Employee recognition is one of the most effective ways to raise employee morale, according to Harvard Business Review, and it can lead to enhanced productivity, retention and engagement. Employee recognition through generations is a key concern for HR leaders managing teams where four generations are working side by side. HR leaders should strive to develop effective employee recognition programs that resonate with employees across generations.

Employee Recognition and Generational Differences

One of the biggest challenges for developing an enterprise-wide employee recognition program is that different individuals are motivated by different incentives. Generational differences provide a useful lens through which to understand what employees find motivating. Certain factors — such as financial incentives and praise — are universally appreciated. But how much they matter may change for different age groups.

According to the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), different generations prefer recognition in different ways. Baby boomers want formal recognition in front of teams or groups, Gen Xers wants to receive recognition in private and millennials want fun, less formal and more frequent recognition, according to the IRF.

Organizations that understand how different types of recognition fuel growth and retention stand to attract the best workforce. The 2016 ADP Employee Engagement Study states that 66 percent of millennials and 62 percent of Gen Xers are motivated by financial rewards, whereas 41 percent of baby boomers prefer to be recognized through a formal, periodic bonus.

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.

ADP Marketplace Continues Tremendous Growth Thanks to Leading Solutions Providers

Inaugural ADP Marketplace Partner Connections Summit Recognizes Partners who Demonstrate Excellence in Sales and Service.

Originally Published by ADP.

As the world of work changes, companies are increasingly seeking innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of their employee base and their businesses. For more than four years, ADP® Marketplace, the largest human capital management (HCM) app store, and its world-class partners have helped create a unique ecosystem, where clients can tailor their HR solutions through apps that leverage ADP platforms and data.

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Originally Published by ADP.

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The Future of Pay is Here! New ADP Innovation Helps Employers Tailor Payments to the Preferences of All Employees

Wisely Pay by ADP Combines Global Cash Card and ADP Capabilities to Create Best-in-Class Payment Offering

Originally Published by ADP.

Changes in talent demographics, working arrangements and technology are impacting how employees need and want to be paid. To meet these shifts, paycards and digital accounts are increasingly becoming attractive options, allowing employees to access their pay how and when they want. Additionally, employers now have the opportunity to take an active interest in the financial wellbeing of their workers to help them get the most out of their pay.

ADP is continuing its innovation momentum by revolutionizing the way people are paid by introducing Wisely Pay by ADP. Wisely Pay is the next step in ADP's constant evolution to put clients and their workers at the forefront of macro trends shaping the employment landscape, including the growing number of freelance individuals.

"The world of work is changing and our clients look to us as the market leader in payments, to help them better engage with their entire workforce," said Doug Politi, president of Compliance Solutions at ADP. "Wisely Pay is leading the way people get paid in the future as a true bank alternative, with innovative services like instant pay, savings, digital wallet, and other financial management and wellness features that are better aligned with the evolving workforce."

The functionality of digital accounts, including paycards, and ease of access to funds have made them particularly popular among Millennials. According to a recent report commissioned by ADP, almost half of Gen Z (47 percent) and nearly a third of Millennials (31 percent) would turn down a job if they were unable to choose their method of pay. Additionally, this report revealed that 47 percent of Millennials and 66 percent of Gen Z have used a pre-loaded payment card in the last 12 months.

Wisely Pay is the first offering resulting from ADP's acquisition of Global Cash Card and provides the administrative tools and support to enable employers of any size, industry and workforce blend of full-time, part-time and/or freelance workers to enjoy:

  • Advanced technologies: Best-in-class experiences for cardholders and administrators from ADP's in-house digital payments platform, built by Global Cash Card and ADP's award-winning Instant Funding APIs.
  • Pay flexibility: Wisely Pay offers multiple ways to receive, spend, and manage money, including fully electronic options like peer-to-peer transfers, instant pay, and mobile digital wallets by Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay® and Android Pay®.
  • Attracting and retaining talent: The multi-generational workforce places unique demands on employers and Wisely Pay helps satisfy the needs of workers by offering a banking alternative with numerous funding options, easy cash access, broad purchasing capability, ability to avoid paper check fees and modern financial management tools.
  • Peace of mind: With a 50-state electronic pay program, backed by market-leading expertise and experience in the regulatory landscape, employers can rely on ADP Compliance Solutions, advanced data security and single point-of-contact resolution for all employer support or cardholder issues (e.g. fraud prevention, dispute resolution).

The Wisely paycard will first be available to employers who select to offer sponsored accounts for employees in September 2018 in the United States.