In our industry, awards engage, recognize and reward program participants of all generations. That’s why knowing a client’s audience—the way they live and work—is so important to bottom-line results. If you don’t take the time to put relevant awards in front of your audience, you’ve lost them before you even begin.
Right now, workforce engagement and motivation is changing. Boomers are retiring and the next generations are on the rise. That means a shift in award strategy. Consider the millennials—a group with a relatively high unemployment rate and a huge amount of college debt. Not surprising, trends show an increase in apartment or urban living for this group. Their lives are pretty much portable. When crafting an award selection for this generation, think commuter bikes, high-end back packs, big-ticket electronics or housewares they want but can’t currently afford. Home maintenance options—like mowers, snow blowers, even deck furniture—make no sense. Most aren’t rooted by home ownership yet. (That trend could, of course, change in 5-10 years, as they outgrow their apartments and start families.) But for now, crafting a solution for the mobile, urban lifestyle is the only way to reach these folks.
Awards are the emotional, personal connection in your program. They should have that emotional resonance. Ultimately, a participant should be able to tie the award to the behavior that earned it and the company that provided it. So pay attention! The right award strategy is fluid, constantly evolving and realigning to the preferences and trends evident in every generation.