10 Ways To Recognize And Motivate Younger Employees

October 10, 2015

In Employee Engagement

motivate younger employees

Knowing that recognition ranks highly in fostering the loyalty of younger workers, today we would like to offer some advice on how to motivate younger employees at work throughout the year.


Make sure your younger employees learn new things on a regular basis, as their thirst for knowledge is almost unquenchable.

  1. Younger people are already recognized for their keen sense of innovation. If you run into a particularly thorny issue, get them to lean in without providing too much direction. Their ideas might surprise you.
  2. Members of the younger generation are more open to the world than any previous generation, and their networks are much broader. Consider, for example, assigning a research project on best international practices to younger employees.
  3. Encourage teamwork as often as possible. Generation X and Y usually work better this way – they feed off of contact with others.


Young workers need to be treated with consideration, and as equals; hierarchy is not nearly as meaningful to them.

  1. Seek out and embrace their new solutions.
  2. Offer mentorship. Younger workers are looking for a leader that inspires them, and it does not necessarily have to be a direct supervisor.
  3. Think about providing a context, a framework in which they can evolve – they need to have a clear picture of what is expected of them and what makes their jobs meaningful.


Keep in mind that immediacy is very important to how much younger employees enjoy their work.

  1. Stay in tune to their wins and successes on a regular basis, perhaps even daily.
  2. Convey your recognition quickly and be authentic – spontaneously in an informal meeting, post a message on the company portal, by text or email.
  3. Offer rewards that help them get more out of life, such as a customized gift, a team activity, or a day off.

Every young person is different, especially when you take cultural contexts into account. The best thing to do is to ask, “Do you feel that you’re getting the recognition you deserve as a member of this team, and if not, what would give you the recognition you want?” Remember to ask an open question and wait for a reply without providing any direction.

If you are looking for a tool to support your initiatives to motivate young employees, the Altrum Celebration Platform might be just the ticket. This tool :

  • Facilitates teamwork, even if decentralized
  • Provides instant communication
  • Stimulates peer-to-peer recognition
  • Offers an online Boutique to reward each win or success story.

Many thanks to Lucie Leduc, Multigenerational Management Coach, for contributing to this article.