Generation Y, or ‘Millennials’, are some of the most tracked and surveyed spenders, and data shows that the spending behaviours of this generation are vastly different to previous ones.
These behaviour differences between generations provide important insights that can enable organisations to best tailor workplace practices and rewards to better suit individuals.
For example, a global survey commissioned by Dell and Intel found that over 60% of Millennials would rather receive high-tech perks at work over benefits such as free food and ping pong tables in the office. A separate survey from the Institute of Management at the University of St Gallen found that four out of five (79%) 16-24 year-olds, value long-term career enjoyment above earning a large sum.
With Millennials ready to make up 50% of the entire workforce by 2020, according to estimates, it’s important that business consider generational shifts when devising reward schemes, says Iain Thomson, Director of Incentive and Recognition, Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services.
Speaking to HR Grapevine, he tell us that companies need to be reviewing their incentive and reward strategies to ensure they are motivating for generation Y, as well as the rest of their employee base. “Whereas Gen X or baby boomers chose to save their disposable income for large investments, such as purchasing a house, it is clear that those currently in their twenties and thirties prefer to spend money on experiences and leisure activities,” he explains. “Businesses need to understand this shift in generational behaviours in order to engage and motivate their entire team.
“Eating out, travel and experience days are high on a typical Millennial’s to-do list, over and above material objects. This trend could be down to the fact that the overheated housing market has made homeownership extremely difficult, but members of this fun-loving generation are definitely living their lives to the full before they look to settle down.
“To achieve this goal, incentive and reward packages need to be tailored so that they remain inclusive of all staff regardless of age, gender or background. Traditional reward packages should therefore be reviewed to include options like gift cards and leisure platforms that offer discounts on experiences, local trips and holidays.
“To make this work, however, managers will need to regularly engage with their employees to discover what motivates them and what they want from their reward packages. With this approach, managers will be able to show employees that they are listening to their wants and needs, which will help to boost motivation and positively impact the business.”