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Millennials get a bad rep. They’re the generation that popularised selfies, avocado toast, and food blogging (which is ultimately a combination of both). On the other hand, however, they’re brimming with unique experiences and skills that are invaluable in the workplace. They’re also getting older and more ambitious, with 50% of the global workforce looking to be Millennials by 2020. With this in mind, recognition practices should be shifting in preparation for the Millennial inundation, and away from the standardised forms of the past. Failing to do so means you’re potentially missing out on the best of your employees, and losing them quicker than you’d expect.

By revamping and innovating your recognition practices, not only do you capitalise on your employees’ talents, but you help them to flourish in your company. Read on to discover the best ways to recognise your Millennial employees.

Career Progression and Culture

Millennials grew up in a different world. When they work at a company, they’re not solely motivated by the money. Instead, they want more- more opportunities, more progression, and more chances for development. A study revealed that it’s 50% of managers who believe high pay is important, compared to only 28% of Millennials. Instead, it’s career progression which ranks more highly for Millennials, with 91% of them interested in progression opportunities when they apply for job roles. They also want to successfully balance their social and work lives, so offering flexibility, holidays and work from home opportunities is key to recognising employees.

Real-time Recognition

Millennials experience a culture of instant gratification that is vastly dissimilar from what other generations have experienced. Fuelled by familiarity with digital media, Millennials are most accustomed than instantaneous reactions and they expect this in their workplace. This is why standardised recognition methods, such as annual engagement surveys, are failing to resonate with Millennials; they’re clunky, long and can’t resolve issues in relevant time. Instead, try investing in pulse surveys. They’re short, powerful and are issued frequently enough so that you can resolve issues closer to their emergence. This is an easy way to recognise Millennial employees, as it specifically addresses their individual needs and gives them a clear channel for communication in the company. Digital media is also extremely useful in providing a platform for real-time recognition. As Millennials are more accustomed to a work life which bleeds into their home, companies are no longer restricted to communication within a strict 9-5 time frame to provide their feedback.


One thing Millennials are used to is individuality. They’ve grown up in a culture which prizes nonconformity, and they’ve carried this belief over to their working lives. As employees that value themselves as individual talents, they expect an equally personalised form of feedback that addresses their strengths and weaknesses. They also expect this from the people they know, with 80% of Millennials saying they wanted to receive regular feedback from their managers. This personal and individual type of recognition is designed to simultaneously deliver feedback and coaching to Millennial employees; in fact, 95% of Millennial employees said they worked harder if they had learnt how their task contributed to the company’s larger strategy. So by providing personal feedback to Millennials, you stand to simultaneously raise productivity and engagement in the company.

Company Input

These days, Millennials don’t just have to agree to their job role- they also have to agree to the company. Millennials are a deeply socially aware generation, and will often prioritise a company whose social innovations they agree with over one which they don’t. Combined with the fact that they’re some of the most educated employees in the workforce, companies should strive to let Millennials in on company decisions as a means of recognition. This doesn’t have to be anything too major- simply things like your company’s charitable decisions, and allowing them to choose their own rewards allows Millennial employees to productively exercise their opinion. Providing this avenue for recognition helps Millennials better understand their place in the company and encourages employee retention; in fact, 71% of Millennials who agree that they know what their company stands for say that they plan to remain there for a year at the least.

Millennials can no longer be underestimated or ignored by the workforce. In the same way, employee recognition should be utilised as a tool to bring out the best in them. By shaping your employee recognition to these employees, you stand to raise productivity, engagement and employee retention all in one go.

Chicago city skyline

Teamwork and camaraderie are extremely important components for a successful and productive business. A recent study uncovered that the primary reason an employee leaves an organization is the lack of engagement and that the cost of filling the position can be up to twice the employee’s annual salary. The study also found that a shocking 70 percent of today’s workforce reports being disengaged at work. 

In today’s competitive market, companies can’t afford to risk the high costs associated with a disengaged workforce. Employee engagement is therefore crucial to the success of every company.

One way to increase the focus and motivation of your staff is to offer rewards and recognition. Many companies are recognizing the importance of engagement and choosing to plan fun retreats for their teams. This tactic is highly effective as it shows appreciation and is an opportunity to get everyone together to discuss goals and strategies. 

If you’re considering a corporate team-building conference, try one of these exotic locations.


Miami, Florida

Miami is a city that takes pride in its diversity. This is especially true when it comes to hosting corporate and conventional events. As a city that constantly grows and reinvents itself, Miami offers plenty of opportunities for business travelers. Whether you’re looking for a convention center or a special event venue, the possibilities are endless.

The breathtaking culture of Miami, combined with beautiful nature and exuberant nightlife, means that everyone will find something that suits their individual taste. Provide your staff with a memorable bonding experience by visiting sporting events, such as the Miami Open, or taking a sunset cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Although a very attractive choice for conventions and team building, Miami has one significant disadvantage. With the average rate for a hotel room being over $200, Miami is relatively expensive. The good news is that you can find cheaper hotels and also get additional discounts depending on the number of people on your team.


Honolulu, Hawaii

Treat your staff to a luxurious outing in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s obvious that this Pacific state offers the best weather and outdoor adventures imaginable, but it also serves as the state capital and is home to the Hawaii Convention Center. The center hosts thousands of group retreats each year and boasts a knowledgeable staff prepared to help with all your planning needs. Hawaii’s hospitality and tourist industry is booming and the state’s gorgeous weather makes it a desirable location year-round.

Outside of the convention, your staff can enjoy the scenic natural beauty of Hawaii or visit one of the city’s many popular tourist destinations. Plan a tour of the Dole pineapple plant, hike the famous Diamond Head crater or schedule a traditional Hawaiian luau event.

Hawaii may be more expensive than other destinations but the natural beauty, adventures and memories of the event will be remembered for years to come.


Las Vegas, Nevada

The so-called “City of Sin” is an extremely fun and cost-effective location for a large team building event or conference. Vegas has many large meeting venues that can easily accommodate large groups. Most locations have experienced event planners that can assist with all the details and reduce the amount of planning required ahead of time. The airport is just three short miles away from the main strip and there are plenty of inexpensive transportation options to and from the airport. 

A trip to Vegas offers plenty of employee engagement opportunities in addition to being extremely affordable. The average cost of a hotel in Vegas can range anywhere from $60-$80 which is one-third the cost of many other high-end locations. In addition, most venues will offer catering, lodging, and entertainment packages dramatically reducing your cost per employee. 


Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is yet another great convention destination. Its central location and Midwestern culture provide everything you need for a solid team-building experience. Chicago is one of only a handful of cities that offers two convenient airport locations. In addition, Chicago’s extensive public transit system ensures that guests are able to quickly and affordably reach their final destinations.

The city of Chicago is home to the nation’s largest convention center. The center is located downtown in close proximity to some of the city’s finest dining and entertainment options. Patrons can get almost anywhere by foot and should be encouraged to explore some of the city’s top attractions including Navy Pier, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Chicago Art Museum. Encourage your staff to take a quick break to grab a Chicago-style pizza or pop in to one of the city’s many ethnic restaurants for lunch. After hours, organize an outing at one of the city’s many sports arenas. Chicago is home to professional soccer, basketball, baseball, and football. Overall, the nation’s third largest city offers everything you’ll need for a successful convention.


New York, NY

New York is the business capital of the world and serves as the nation’s leader in finance, retail and media. The aura of the nation’s largest city attracts thousands of professional conventions each year. Your staff can fly into one of two conveniently located airports (JFK or LaGuardia). From here, your team can quickly and easily grab a cab into the heart of the city, taking in the sites and the city skyline along the way.

New York City offers endless entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences. Plan a trip to the historic Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty or catch a game at one of the city’s two major ball fields. Additional entertainment options include Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park and the iconic Empire State Building. For lunch, visit Grand Central Station food court or grab a hot dog from one of the city’s infamous street vendors. No matter which attractions you choose to visit, the Big Apple will be a major hit with your crew.

These are just a few of the many popular convention destinations in the United States. Whatever destination you choose for your business travel, make sure to bond with your team. Also, planning a retreat should not be seen as a cost, but rather as a major investment in the future of your company. Remember that employees are your company’s most valuable asset and employee engagement should therefore be one of your main business goals.


Author Bio: Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter @jillphlps

We’ve added a whole raft of new features to our WooBoard platform to help you better motivate teams and improve employee engagement.

These are the new features:

  • The WooBoard rewards store, now open for the first time in Australia. It lets you send digital rewards to recognise employee accomplishments.
  • The WooBoard anniversaries and services badge. This automates events, giving everyone in the organisation the chance to join in the celebrations of important milestones.
  • The WooBoard link handling facility, which lets you see an image and description preview when sharing links with others.
  • The WooBoard hashtag archive, which saves time when searching across hashtags for messages with specific themes or content.
  • The new WooBoard Emoji functionality so that you can add more personality to your posts using emoticons.

These new features reflect the investment REFFIND is making in the WooBoard platform to make sure you get more value from your workforce through engagement and communication.

“People crave positive feedback, recognition they put in extra effort, acknowledgement of leaders and peers, the glow that comes with knowing an achievement has been seen, appreciated and celebrated.”
Meghan M. Biro, Forbes.com


When we make an extra effort, we like people to notice. For many people an acknowledgement of the difference they have made is more motivating than financial reward.

Yep, you read that correctly. Many of your employees will feel more appreciated if you thank them for what they’ve done, than if you give them a bonus but say nothing.

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Guest post by Andre Janus

No doubt recognizing your employees is important, but doesn’t it seem like a daunting task sometimes? There are certificates to print, awards to order, special events to plan and more. When you hear that you should make employee recognition activities a daily priority, you might even cringe. How are you supposed to find the time, energy or money to award your top performers day after day?

It’s not as difficult or expensive as it might sound. In fact, many daily employee recognition activities don’t cost anything and won’t take up much time. That’s because the big idea behind daily employee recognition is to point out the little things that your team members do well. It’s all about celebrating the day-to-day stuff that adds up to big results in the long run. It’s also about pointing out the kinds of behaviors you’d like to see from all of your employees.

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When it comes to increasing workplace productivity, employee motivation gets the lion’s share of the attention. Motivated employees work harder, deliver better results, and have a direct impact on the bottom line.

Good managers invest time and effort into understanding their employees’ motivation (the fundamental reasons why they turn up and do their job) and adapt their management style and incentive programs to match those factors. It’s a sound strategy, and if done right it’s very successful.

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Image of Google Logo

Guest post by Adrienne Erin

Google didn’t become a tech giant because its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, did everything on their own. Instead, they formed a company, hired the right people and motivated them to turn Google into a household word.

The company not only motivates its employees, but it also treats them well. Google was named “Best Company to Work For” in 2015 by the Great Place to Work Institute and Fortune Magazine.

Every business can learn from the achievements of Google’s management strategy, whether that business is in the high-tech space or not. After all, one of the best ways to be successful is to imitate the successes of others.

Here are some ways Google recognizes and motivates its employees.

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