Recognise This! – Recognition is for all generations, not just Gen Y, to drive the greatest business results.

Following up on my post yesterday about the importance of helping Millennial employees see the alignment between their personal values and the company’s values, is this important post from China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work. In a broader piece on the lack of preparation of Millennials for the workplace (with blame equally shared amongst educators, employers and Millennials themselves), China comments:

“If, as in great workplaces all over the world, an organisation’s values were in sync with the values of all of its employees, investment in skill development would be a no brainer because it would be ensuring the longer tenure of its entire workforce – not just its Millennials. It would be an investment in the bottom line as measured by lower turnover costs, lower talent acquisition costs, greater innovation and higher productivity.”

China is specifically focussing on the importance of skill development, but the bigger message here is to never lose sight of the needs of all generations in the workplace. While the particulars vary, the general needs are the same. Every generation needs ongoing development. Generally speaking, Gen Y needs start-of-career training on how the real world of work, erm, works; Gen X needs management and leadership development as their careers enter mid-stage; Boomers likely need training for rapidly changing technology and how to pass on knowledge – and those just scratch the surface).

Similarly, every generation needs recognition. We all, regardless of stage of life, status of our career, or even job function, need to know the work we do has greater meaning. We all need validation of the value of our efforts to those with whom we work most closely every day – colleagues and clients alike. When we know how the work we do every day adds value, we’re far more willing to give discretionary effort to deliver that value again and again, day after day. And that’s the ROI on recognition – additional productivity in precisely those areas the organisation most needs to see more.

I’ve never once heard from anyone, of any generation, “I receive too much recognition and appreciation for my work.” Have you?