by Tina Weede, CRP | October 07, 2013
Tina Weede

Every week, we feature a piece of expert advice from a certified recognition professional (CRP) from Recognition Professionals International, an industry association dedicated solely to understanding, improving, and advancing employee recognition & rewards in the workplace.

Q: How should you adapt recognition programs for the multi-generational mix?

A: Today’s workplace primarily includes Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials, all of whom have different work styles. Creating a successful recognition program for a multi-generational workforce means determining what motivates them, and how they want to be recognized. For example, a strict management structure can be demotivating for Millennials who prefer collaboration and feedback on their contributions. They embrace technology and social media and prefer gamification and charitable giving. Gen X workers prefer having a work/life balance and are entrepreneurial — they may see more career changes and welcome them.

Understanding these differences can help organizations train managers on the right way to communicate, motivate, and recognize employees and implement reward and recognition programs that resonate with each generation. This is especially important as older employees begin to retire and the workforce becomes more competitive. An effective employee recognition program bolsters employee engagement, which increases performance and reduces attrition. 

About Our Expert: Tina Weede, CRP, is vice president of Recognition Professionals International and serves as the president of USMotivation. She has an extensive background in performance improvement and recognition in both business-to-business and consumer marketing. She has designed, implemented, and managed incentive programs of all sizes, providing wisdom through measurable results. Weede began her career at J. Walter Thompson. In 1990, she joined the communications division of USMotivation. She served as vice president of major accounts, where she was instrumental in helping clients align incentives with their business objectives prior to being named president in 2010. Under Tina’s leadership, USMotivation has reached many milestones. In 2012, 30 percent of its associates were trained and designated as CRPs through Recognition Professionals International.