Millennial employees value experiences over financial rewards

New research reveals that millennial workers would rather receive experiential rewards for hard work over financial gifts.

New research from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services reveals that 84 per cent of millennials are keen to receive experiences and vouchers, such as cinema discounts or tickets, as employee rewards.

Nearly one in five employees (17 per cent) say they would like to share these experiences with their team, and an even greater number (25 per cent) say they would like to share their rewards with family or friends.

Experiential rewards can range from spa trips to days out, either for ‘on the spot’ rewarding, such as free tickets, or as an ongoing benefit which gives employees access to savings of up to 40 per cent on cinema tickets.

For years, anecdotal evidence has suggested that millennials prefer these rewards over material or financial benefits, but this attitude towards sharing these experiences has been difficult to evidence, until now.

This latest research, conducted by TLF Panel, questioned 1,000 employed adults in the UK on their recognition preferences in the workplace. The findings show that experiential rewarding not only incentivises individuals, but can also drive productivity across the business. In fact, 63 per cent of higher performing organisations show a clear preference for these non-cash rewards, suggesting that this rewarding technique does increase productivity.

Chris Baldwin, director of consumer programmes, says, ‘This research shows how important it is to revise benefits and rewards programmes in line with changing employee demands. Rewarding millennial employees with something they can share with others has a number of clear benefits for the business, including team bonding, incentive to continue delivering quality work and greater loyalty.

‘Moreover, businesses can often underestimate the impact that work can have on an individual’s loved ones. It’s important for employers to show that they recognise and understand the need for a healthy work/life balance.

‘Any experiential reward can be easily shared with others, but family-friendly perks, such as free or reduced price cinema tickets could provide a family day out for many employees.’

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