Motivating Millennials – It Takes More than Money

Photo courtesy of Inspira Marketing Group

In just six short years, Gen Y will make up at least 50% of the United States workforce. This statistic alone gives reason for pause. Is your company  motivating millennials properly? If you encourage and train this specific demographic in unique ways, it will result in an overall improvement in  employee  performance.

Organizations that express frustration with the need for constant validation and immediate gratification by the so-called “trophy generation”  are overlooking the positive attributes of a group that is actually (relatively) easy to incent.

Their needs are not the same as those of baby boomers or Gen X,  and locking on to what they desire in the workplace can be the key to greater productivity and a more engaged workforce. Millennials are also incredibly driven toward success, they’re confident, and extremely digitally savvy. Instead of resenting their needs, use them to your advantage.

One company that discovered the unique ways to motivate millennials is Inspira Marketing Group in Norwalk, Conn. With many Gen Y’ers in its employ, the agency quickly learned that motivation is about more than just salary alone. To that end, Inspira provides several individualized and customized bonus and compensation offerings for its employees. Five of these include:

1. Unlimited Vacation. No tracking; just get your work done. More and more companies are adopting this benefit policy. It’s a smart move for an employer, as it shows you trust the integrity and choices of your staff. It also speaks to Gen Y’s need for flexibility; which was the No. 1 criteria for a great place to work in a recent Future Workplace survey.

2. Shout-Outs. Peers praise teammates publicly via handwritten notes. These individuals are acknowledged during a company-wide meeting. In addition, an end of year, “Most Inspired Employee” award is presented. Validation motivates the demographic in question, so when  co-workers voice appreciation, it’s likely their  productivity will increase.

3. Quarterly Incentive Projects. Employees can join in on group ventures that explore topics like innovation, industry knowledge, and client education. Participants receive a variety of awards (i.e. personal shopper experience, Go Beats headphones, cold hard cash, or lunch on the company).

4. End of Year Incentive: mystery location vacation! If the agency meets its “stretch goal” for the year in revenue or profit, the entire company takes a destination trip where they explore local hot spots and enjoy team-building fun. A collaborative environment is of utmost importance to millennials, and going on a trip with co-workers provides a backdrop for team bonding, and friendships that won’t disappear when they’re back at the office.

5. Landmark Service Rewards. Once an employee has been with Inspira Marketing Group for five years, the agency sends him or her on a “Vocation Vacation.” Inspira foots the bill for the employee to set out and achieve a personal “betterment” goal that they may not have had the chance to do on their own. The only requirement is that it must be tied to giving back. When the employee is away volunteering, they are asked to capture the journey through photos, and share their experience with the entire organization upon their return.

Motivating millennials is relatively simple. Remember that they care about making an impact in the world through their work. The ability to travel, give back, and share experiences with colleagues is a win-win for the company and the employee.

It’s refreshing to know that companies like Inspira continue to offer creative perks to team members that benefit both the company and employees by taking their specific on-the-job needs into consideration.


This information was provided by Kimberly Lawton, COO/Partner, Inspira Marketing Group.

Photo courtesy of Inspira Marketing Group



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