Most Canadian recognition programs do not match millennial’s realities
Recognition of dedicated, long-term service is the most prevalent type of rewards and recognition program in place among Canadian employers. However, a Conference Board of Canada study published in June 2017 suggests that these programs may not appeal to younger generations who typically have shorter tenures.
The Power of Appreciation: Rewards and Recognition Practices in Canadian Organizations summarizes the findings of a survey conducted between June and August 2016 which received responses from HR practitioners from a total of 383 organizations across Canada.
Only 37 percent of responding organizations indicated that their rewards programs considered varied generations in their workforce.
- Almost 90 percent of responding organizations have some type of formal rewards and recognition program in place, spending, on average, $139 per full-time employee (FTE) – and $161 per FTE in the private sector – on rewards and recognition in 2016.
- Long-service recognition is the most prevalent type of rewards and recognition program in place (96%), followed by retirement recognition (64 %).
- Only 37 per cent of responding organizations agreed that their rewards programs consider the multiple generations in the workforce, whereas previous research has indicated that millennials could have an average of five different employers over a 10-year span, and would not be at an organization long enough to be eligible for most long-service recognition.
According to Nicole Stewart, Principal, Compensation Research Centre, The Conference Board of Canada, “The majority of organizations use their rewards and recognition programs to increase employee engagement.” [Therefore], “it is important to look at what drives engagement. In fact, there appears to be a disconnect between where organizations are allocating […] their recognition budgets and what might bring them the best value in terms of employee satisfaction.”