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Forget extreme incentives: 60% of millennials say job recognition is enough

Research conducted by facilities and building maintenance specialists Direct365 reveals that 57% of the UK public do not consider employee perks and benefits when looking for a job.

The same survey showed that only 40% of 18-24 year olds claim they are interested in job perks. On the other hand, an overwhelming 70% of 35-44 year olds do take them into consideration when on the job hunt, showing a huge generational gap. Which is why job recognition is so important in employee retention.

jobThis correlates well with findings from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), which found that 17% of the 2,000 people surveyed said they were looking for a new career due to feeling under appreciated.

The ILM study found that lack of progression is the number one reason for people wanting to move on, with just over a quarter citing it as their main reason.

Echoing this, a 2015 employee satisfaction report claims that only 31% of workers feel strongly valued, revealing a widespread discontent in the workplace.

What do millennial employees really want?

Despite the fact that extreme employee incentives are as popular as ever – with Google offering employees nap-time and Netflix’s free holiday schemes – workers tend to look for peer recognition, company cars and flexible working hours.

Phil Turner, head of digital at Direct365 said that extreme incentives may work for the short-term, but workers have begun to look for more useful, applicable solutions:

“The problem with a lot of job perks are that the companies offering them don’t take into consideration what the employee could really use. Fun incentives may look great on paper, but the reality is very different and companies should be working to give staff what they genuinely want. Perks that make your working day a little easier will always be attractive – not to mention peer recognition, appraisals and real career progression. These are priceless”.

According to wider research, the millennial generation are also the most demanding, with 48% of bosses feeling that younger employees are more reliant on detailed targets to stay motivated. Coupled with the data from Direct 365, it has been shown that millennials are less interested in employee perks, and care more about job recognition and guiding their careers in the right direction.

With the younger generation continuing to occupy a greater percentage of the workforce, should companies be tailoring their career offerings more carefully to give them what they really want?