What WOW’s Millennial and Gen Zee want in a rewards programme

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Working for a leading recognition and rewards company can bring plenty of benefits for its staff. After all, they preach the importance of recognizing employees.

It is important to consider the input you receive from your employees. Their feedback can play a large role in how you adapt your current incentive strategy. If you make changes to the incentive programme, you may be able to keep workers happy and likely to remain in their job position. Providing your employees with a salary doesn’t solely retain staff – Millennials and Gen Zs are seeking more!

We surveyed WOW employees: Millennials (born between 1980 – 2000) and Gen Z (born between 1995 – 2020) about their recognition and incentive preferences. We discovered their answers were surprisingly similar. These were some of the themes displayed in their responses:

Overall happiness at work

Happiness at work is a top priority for Millennials in the workplace. They want to work with individuals who’s enthusiastic about their work. According to our survey data, 90% of Millennials say team spirit contributes to their overall happiness at work, while 90% of Gen Z’s said learning new skills is vital for their growth.


Respondents from the Millennial generation mentioned they would like monthly rewards, cash and prizes. Conversely, members of Gen Z would prefer personal incentives and be incentivized for attendance.

In larger sample surveys conducted by WOW across manufacturing and service sectors, a key requirement of younger staff is their being kept informed about how the company which is employing them is doing financially. More than seven out of ten staff say this is important or very important.

In focus sessions, the common thread in the reasons why staff want to know about their employer’s prospects and potential pitfalls, is that they want to feel part of a bigger picture and not be defined only by the skill-set described in their job position. Another reason put forward is that they want to be able to make a decision on whether the company itself is a winner or loser as the risk of being retrenched from a “loser” company is perceived as being much higher!

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