Trying to justify the lack of productivity with the claim that millennials are simply less hard-working generation than baby boomers is not only inaccurate but also quite an unjust explanation. This type of narrow-sighted perspective may prevent your business from unleashing its full potential, so try looking at it from a different angle in order to see the bigger picture. With the right motivation, millennials can be incredibly loyal, productive and appreciative, but how does one motivate a millennial? Well, here are five rewards that might just work.

Public appreciation

Even though the employee of the month practice has turned out to be counter-productive in the past as it singles out just one person, sometimes, it is worth praising the most valuable member of your team in public. You see, one of the biggest concerns that millennials have in their workplace is the feeling that they aren’t contributing enough. Of course, this can sometimes be ridiculous seeing as how they may expect to start making a difference just a couple of months after start working for a company. On the other hand, sometimes playing along and showing them just how much they matter might persuade them to give more in the future.

Lateral career movement

Another principle that no longer applies is that vertical promotion is the best reward one can receive. In fact, according to several surveys, the more they move upwards the less positive work experience they seem to have. This is just one of the reasons why millennials on executive leadership positions tend to be less satisfied with their work. Instead, you need to enable them to switch lanes and move laterally in their own pursuit of happiness at work. In other words, if a millennial employee asks you for a permission to move to a different department within your company, you should definitely be open to provide them with such an opportunity.

Company promotional products

Silly as this may sound, the world millennials live in is a cold and unforgiving one, which is why the sense of belonging is probably one of the most valuable commodities. One of the simplest, yet the most effective ways to make them feel as an important part of your business is to hand them out some of your company’s branded products. We are talking about clothing items like t-shirts and hats with your brand’s logo on it, as well as accessories like umbrellas with a printed name of your company. In this way, you are giving them an opportunity to feel even more like a part of the team by proudly displaying its colors.


One of the greatest fears millennials have nowadays is that their performance is going unnoticed, which is something that can easily be solved with introducing one-on-one monthly meetings with your employees in order to give them feedback. Before the meeting (monthly or weekly), make sure to do thorough research on what they’ve been doing in the previous period. They will notice generic speech patterns that usually end up with ‘keep up the good work’ or a similar phrase. Instead, be specific about what you think they’re doing right and don’t be afraid to reflect on aspects they might need to improve. Remember, constructive criticism is always better than a generic praise.

Personalized rewards

Finally, giving an employee a gift card and telling them to treat themselves is a nice gesture, however, it isn’t personal enough. Instead, try spending more time with your employees in order to get to know them better, and then pick a gift that suits their character or meets their expectations. In the past, there was an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t bond with your employees, yet this is a thing that no longer holds true with millennials. Sometimes, showing that you care about them on a personal level may go a long way.


At the end of the day, none of the above-listed five methods are outside-of-the-box solutions or let alone extraordinary, however, they are of an immense value to the right audience. For this reason, you need to look at them as methods or techniques to boost your performance. On the other hand, by raising the overall morale around the office, it will also boost the overall success and productivity of your company. With time, you might even get to consider them as one of the core values of your company, which will definitely boost the effectiveness of your hiring and retention efforts.